Easy Peasy Password-Keeping

Everyone uses passwords. A lot of them. To exist online, either as a consumer or as a business owner, you must employ the use of secure passwords, and keeping track of them all is no picnic — especially if you're like me, and you try to come up with mixes of numbers and letters to make them extra secure. Like I once did, you probably find yourself more often than not racking your brain to recall that once so-clever-because-it's-so-tricky password, or even to remember which version of your usual password you've used for a particular site that you need to log into stat. "Remember Me" functions often have time limits (ex. two weeks), or are made null when you have to reset your browser or clear your cache. And sure, there's the "Forgot Password?" function, but even those can be time-consuming, especially when security questions you've long forgotten are involved.

The solution I've found for my business, and recommend to my clients, is 1Password, a software application that saves all your logins, e-mail accounts and identities in one easy-peasy virtual vault.

1Password is compatible with both Mac and Windows operating systems and its features go well beyond keychain tools that come with system software. Here's why:

+ This isn't just a matter of copying and pasting from stored data. By far, 1Password's best feature is that you open your vault, find the login for the site you want to visit and double-click it — next thing you know, the software is logging you in automatically. No copying or pasting of usernames or passwords. Of course, you have to enter them initially when setting up your logins, but that process is quite painless and will save you oodles of time in the long run. NOTE: In Preferences > Logins, you must have the box checked that reads "Submit automatically after filling a login (Autosubmit)" for autologin to occur.

+ Another fantastic feature is that if you ever change your password or create a new log in on a site, an 1Password prompt will ask you if you'd like to update your existing login with this info or save the new information as a new login in your vault. I cannot emphasize how convenient it is that I don't have to make a note somewhere myself regarding my password change.

+  You can backup your data. In 1Password's "Preferences" section, you can set how often you want to back up your password files, and where on your hard drive you'd like those backups saved. Of course, whether you do so is up to you. Some people don't like to store passwords or secure info on their computer, because in the case of a system crash (or a fire), they would lose that data forever. Others don't wish to employ the autologin feature, for fear that if their system was ever hacked, their account info would be compromised. How you choose to handle these security considerations is a personal choice, and you can always search user forums for advice from others who are grappling with the same issues.

+ You can set a preference for which browser you'd like opened when you double-click for autologins.

+ You can organize your logins in separate folders. For my business, I have different folders for different clients, with stored credentials I access on a regular basis. For my personal usage, my husband and I each have a folder for our regular logins, from social media sites to bill-paying to music downloads to online pizza delivery.

We are all looking for ways to make our crazy-busy lives easier. Getting password-keeping software is a step in the right direction toward freeing up your valuable time so that you can more effectively run your business, and your life.

Please note that I have no affiliation with 1Password; I simply like it. Try it free for 30 days and see for yourself.

Securely speaking,

Carla

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