Do not store your passwords in a text file on a USB device or in an easily accessible area of your computer, unless the file is encrypted and password protected.
If someone were to get ahold of your computer or solid-state storage device, would they be able to retrieve your passwords for online banking? email? Facebook? Twitter? PayPal? iTunes? eBay? Starbucks? XBox 360? Think about your online footprint. There are easily dozens and possibly hundreds of sites across the net where you have created an online profile with a password and they are all tied back to you. If one were compromised, what would that do to the rest? Do they all have the same password or do you have a layered approach to setting up your passwords?
There are programs available which allow you to keep passwords readily available for your retrieval without compromising your online security. I will explore these programs more in-depth in coming updates. In the meantime, a few things to think about:
- Where do you currently store your passwords? Your brain, a text file, an encrypted data file, a scrap of paper?
- Where would you like to store your passwords?
- Where do you need to access your passwords? At work, at home, at the airport, at the coffee shop?
- What devices do you use to access your passwords? A desktop, a laptop, a netbook, an iPhone or other mobile device?
- Are you happy with your online security?