What’s the secret (Pass)word?

A few weeks ago, the social networking site LinkedIn was hacked and millions of passwords were stolen.  I dutifully went and changed my password and promptly forgot it.  I have too many passwords to remember them all.  I’ve tried to follow all the password advice I’ve heard over the years – use a mixture of capital and lowercase letters, use numbers, don’t use real words, don’t use dates of significant events, basically don’t use anything that you’ll ever have a chance of remembering.  That’s all well and good in theory but if i can’t remember my password, and I don’t trust my browser to remember my password, what’s a girl to do?  Then, while looking in my applications folder, I noticed an icon that looked like a safe.

I clicked on it and to my surprise, it was an application for storing all my passwords.  I had to enter a password for the app itself, so i created one that I could remember.  After that I hit the BlackBerry button   and selected “new” from the menu.  I then got this screen up:

I typed in “facebook”as my title, my username, my password, and the website address.  Then I hit save.  I repeated the process for all of the sites I could remember that I had a password for.

In addition to storing passwords (you can change the default setting to either show or hide passwords from the menu), the password keeper can generate a random password for a site.  On the form pictured above, instead of entering a password, hit the BlackBerry button   and then select “Random Password” from the list.  You will get a random alpha numeric password – the kind that has no meaning to anyone (but at least you’ll have a program to remember it for you!) You can set criteria for the randomly generated passwords too.  Just click on the BlackBerry button while in the password keeper app and select “Options” You can set the length of the random password, (default is 8 characters but you can have between 4-16), whether it should include numbers, and if you want it to include symbols.    From the options menu you can also decide if you want to allow copying of the password to the clipboard (do you want to be able to copy and paste the passwords or do you want to type them out each time), and how many attempts at the main password you will allow.

This is a great app and one that is easily missed if you’re not looking for it.  Yes it takes a bit of time to set up but once you’ve done the initial set up, it’s great – as long as you can remember the main password!

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