Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Tip: Store all your Passwords Online

I love getting things done during spring break - you know the things - organizing closets, cleaning carpets, gardening. Getting rich.
This spring break I have been reading I Will Teach You To be Rich by Ramit Sethi. I am not his target audience. Yes, I want to be rich - or at least learn to better save for retirement. But this chatty, informative, and funny book is really geared toward 20 to 30-year-olds who are just starting to get jobs with 401(k)s. I still like it. I am still learning, and I am reminded of things I should be doing better. The book is readable and I recommend it, although people my age (40 and lovin' it) and older might be better served by something different.

Ramit has one suggestion in particular I thought librarians would want to know. As a co-founder of PBwiki, he recommends making a free PBwiki account to keep track of all your passwords and other information you want to be able to access from any computer (p. 88). He vouches for the security of the site as well by saying he keeps his passwords on one. I think that not only could you put your passwords for your financial accounts in a wiki, but you could keep all your web 2.0 links and passwords there as well. I started one up - it took only a few minutes. The wikis are easy to use - many of you use them already for school. Just make a new account, set the security settings to private, make sure only you can view and edit the page, and start loading the links and passwords.

I have to admit - I feel strange putting my accounts and passwords on the web. I thought of just hinting my log in name to myself and putting the passwords, or not linking to the accounts - giving them a code name or something - but then where would I store that information? But for some reason I do trust Ramit. I trust that PBwiki will keep my passwords safe. Am I naive? Do you keep track of your passwords online? or in a Rolodex? or in your head?

1 comment:

  1. I don't know about this one ... I've been reading Born Digital by John Palfrey and Urs Gasser and in their chapter on privacy in the digital age they discuss the digital footprint that all of us have. Sometimes that digital footprint is of our own making (this comment for example) and sometimes it is created by others (ChoicePoint with our credit card data). I guess I'm squeamish about all the stuff I put out there. While I may have a lot of trust in a company when I post my data, what happens if they get bought out and the new owners are evil? What happens if an employee writing code mistakenly releases all my info on the web? I recently have tried to separate my private blogging and professional blogging and just with that, I'm finding that sorting our identities and data out once they're out there is nearly impossible to do! My mind may change in the future, but I'm going to wait on this for now.

    This is a great topic for discussion! Thanks for the post!