If you are like me, you have exceeded more usernames and passwords than you can possibly remember. Just generating a password is frustrating. Hopefully you are not using the same username and password for every site you log into: social media sites, banking, credit cards, your favorite online retailers i.e. Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, L.L. Bean, etc. If you are, then you need to change that practice quickly. As you can imagine, if somebody figures out your username and password on one site, they can access all of your sites. Also, don’t use names or numbers that a hacker can guess or can easily find the information (i.e. your children’s names, pet names, addresses, birth dates, etc). Don’t make it easy for someone to access all of your “secure” online sites.
What are you doing now? How do you remember all of those passwords? Do you keep a little book with all the information written down? This is not a great idea. You can lose your book, or leave it where someone can peek and copy the information. Maybe you have a file on your hard drive where you have spent hours constructing a table and listed each account and the respective username and password. Not a good idea either, especially, if your computer is a shared computer at work, at home, or if it is stolen.
I would encourage you to consider using password management software. A few popular tools include Roboform, 1Password and KeePass. The software when downloaded is stored on your computer and/or on a USB and in some cases on a server. You can either purchase software or try free software. Basically what these services provide are encrypted database templates to safely store information. Other common features include password generators and automatic log-in to your account urls. You will only need to remember one master password, but make sure it is a really strong password. Check out this article from Microsoft on creating strong passwords: http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows-vista/Tips-for-creating-a-strong-password.
Don’t know where to start? Ask friends what they are using or, check out reviews. I usually google keywords and go from there. In this case, I googled “password management reviews”. I also check out recommendations from sites I trust, for instance Mashable.com. If you are currently using a password management tool, share your experience.