This is the twenty-first century, for Pete's sake! Wouldnt you expect the chore of having to remember dozens of passwords to be a thing of the past? After all, isnt that the whole purpose of the computer, to manage our information for us?
Instead, the Internet has created a huge number of additional passwords that we need to remember. Every shopping site requires its own password. So does every social bookmarking site. And every forum. And every social networking site. And, and, and...
And yet, built-in computer tools dont do a very good job of managing our passwords.
That's why I recommend a browser add-on/standalone software combination called 1Password ($40) from http://www.agilewebsolutions.com.
Why use a password manager? Doesnt the Mac keep track of passwords with its keychain? I can give the answer in one word: Firefox.
Firefox is the 800 pound gorilla of web browsers, at least as far as web marketers are concerned. This is because Firefox supports all kinds of plug-ins that are useful to Web marketers, as described in the previous section. Firefox uses its own password scheme for remembering your logins. That means sites that you register for in Firefox wont be accessible in Safari.
1Password does require an additional investment of $40 and, yes, it is another software program that you will need to learn how to use, so normally I might not bother with it, but, as Internet marketers, we have to deal with the huge number of websites. Not only the websites we create, but social networking sites, social bookmarking sites, the blogs we comment on, the blogs we create guest posts on, and so on. So the additional investment required for a program like 1Password is definitely worth it.
Personally, I was tired of the erratic behavior of Apple's keychain. I dont know whether it is some kind of corruption on my Mac or a bug in the software, but Safari would fill in the password for a website some times but not others. On OnlyWire, for example, Safari filled in the password when I visited the site for several days in a row and then suddenly stopped doing so. Much to my annoyance, I found the site wasnt even listed in the keychain(?).
Enter 1Password. Of special usefulness to Web marketers is 1Password's ability to store separate logins for the same website. So, if you're promoting several different unrelated websites on, say, Twitter, you can create separate identities that correspond to each site you promote. This way you can keep your tweets relevant to each identity.
1Password also has a password generation feature for the creation of totally random passwords so you arent tempted to use something like your birthdate or the same login for every website. Since 1Password keeps track of your passwords, you dont have to worry about making them memorable. 1Password also has a Strength meter to tell you how unguessable your password is (but this is just based on the length of the password, not whether it contains letters, numbers and symbols, so it is just a rough guide).
If your Mac is not 100% secure (for example, if you use a laptop) you can use 1Password to store your private data, such as Social Security number, credit card numbers, and even software serial numbers. 1Password is secured with a master password and uses 128 bit AES encryption.
In addition to your desktop Mac and laptop, 1Password can run on your Windows PC, iPad and iPhone or iPod touch, so you can share passwords among devices.