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national change your passwords day: 1passwd, almost

Just 11 days until National Change Your Passwords Day, January 15, 2007! Are you ready?
I've been using 1passwd, a tasty mac password generator, password storage, and form autofill application, with plugins for Firefox and Safari. It is a win, and I now endorse it as a great tool to use on National Change Your Passwords Day. If you always use one computer, 1passwd automates the whole password management workflow; on a web form it will generate a new secure password for you and store that password in its keychain. Then you can look up the password in the 1passwd application, or invoke the 1passwd web plug-in to fill in forms on a particular web page. Sweet. Combine this with the Schneier method of writing your passwords on a small piece of paper that you treat as precious, and you've got a complete story.
One problem I encountered: writing down long passwords is error-prone. 1passwd doesn't seem to have built-in sync'ing between different computers. The combination of these two factors meant that yesterday I was at work, twenty miles from my home machine's keychain, and I couldn't log in to my banking webapp, because my hand-written password crib sheet wasn't clear enough on lower-case vs upper-case, '1' vs 'l', etc. I had to take care of banking business before the end of the banking day, and leaving work to drive home to get my password wasn't an option. I drove to a bank branch and took care of my business there... but most online relationships don't come with a bricks-and-mortar storefront in every shopping plaza. The moral is, change your passwords, but figure out how to write them down legibly, and make sure that your written record is correct.
1passwd is $39.95, and so far it's totally worth it. The best part: it imports all of your accounts and passwords from Firefox and Safari.

Reader Comments (1)

Doesn't .mac sync your keychains?

1.4.2007 at 09:50 AM | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

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