Do you have a magic list of passwords for all of your various on line profiles? Do you have a system for changing your passwords often? Do you have the same password for all of you on line profiles?
If you answered Yes to the last question, allow me to say, “DON’T DO THAT!”, for the love of MyDoom, if any of the many sinister nasty folks on the Interweb get into one of your accounts, suddenly they are into all of them. I have talked about Financial On Line Security before, but this was triggered by yet another interesting discussion with Mrs. C8j.
There is actually a very long list of different financial on-line profiles with user ids and passwords, but Mrs. C8j pointed out that she really should have access to this information in case of an emergency. My guess is that a solution to this will be to actually print out this information and put it in a safe deposit box or somewhere safe for her.
This is actually a terrible solution, because:
- You should not have a file with this information on a computer anywhere (unless you have it under some kind of heavy encryption, but even then, that may not be that safe).
- Printing it just means that it will be even less safe (paper is much easier to pilfer).
- Printing the information means she has a snapshot, at that moment, however, when I change those passwords, the list is suddenly useless.
The other ideas like putting it on your cell phone is bad, because the phone is easily stolen, and putting it “in the cloud”, just makes it easier to find.
What is the best way to keep this information secure, while being able to share it (securely) for the “what if” scenario.