I write a monthly column over at AlliOSNews. It’s a techie site – extolling all the goodies and gunpowder on the Apple OS. (SHINY TOY!) I’m TechMom. And these are my stories on how technology is really used.
(I’m well aware it’s Wednesday. If you want TechMom Tuesday on Tuesdays, head on over to AlliOSNews for all things Apple. TechMom Tuesday is typically published the first Tuesday of every month; this month is not typical. I reserve the right to rant more or less as the technical goings-on, well…go on.)
You’re lucky this post exists. Because of what I’m reviewing, I was able to actually log into WordPress to post.
It was déjà vu all over again when the blinky red indicator lit up my email inbox declaring that my password was about to expire.
(They leave out the part about how no matter what you do, you’re going to manage to lock yourself out of the system anyway. Also, you can’t repeat passwords. And the system knows!)
We’ve all heard the stories. A giant database gets hacked so your account (and thereby your identity) is at risk.
We’ve all heard the warnings. Don’t use 12345 or Password. And even if you have a super stealth security code comprising letters, numbers, symbols, wizarding runes and a strand of your DNA, for all that is holy don’t use it for multiple sites.
I’ll be honest with you. My brain is now full. I no longer remember my own phone number, much less continuous strings of essentially random typos. What’s that? You also want me to remember what account all those nonsensical numeric are associated with?
Not happening. Alas, there’s only so many times you can click the “Forgot my password” link on a site before it completely shuts down on you.
I was initially skeptical. Write down all my passwords in one place? DANGER WILL ROBINSON!
But then I realized that I have over 101 accounts and web logins that I use regularly enough to need to actually know how to decode the html cipher and retrieve my info. Let’s face it – it’s far easier for a hacker to access thousands of accounts than for me to remember if I’m TechMom, Tech Mom or techmummy with a password of 1f-U#ack_M3,Ple@$e.S#are!nfo
mSecure is available across all my Apple devices. But to calm the paranoid conspiracy theorist within, your account can only be synched across devices when you are simultaneously logged in on a single Wi-Fi network and , more importantly, only when you explicitly tell it to do so.
With a single master password, you can store a plethora of tricky data – I use it mostly to record Web login information. It is also a great digital wallet that allows categorization for grouping personal, work and family account information. For example when one of our four medical record login credentials is inevitably forgotten by a family member (namely, me).
The layout is simple and easy to read. It’s not meant to be fancy, it’s meant to restore sanity when you really need to reschedule a doctor follow up visit but cannot for the life of you remember what your toddler’s login information is for Kaiser.
For each entry, input a description, username, password, URL and applicable notes. You are in complete control of the data though, so if you’re uncomfortable having the actual password stored, simply enter a reminder in the Password field – it’s a lot easier than trusting a site’s ability to remember you’re the school your mother’s maiden name went to with their favorite pet in the first car owned.
However if you’re fresh out of ideas, mSecure also enables you to auto-generate a secure password.
It’s not free. You can download it for your iPhone, iPad in the App Store for $9.99. It is $19.99 for the Mac version, also in the Mac App store. But it’s totally paid for itself in time saved and meltdowns avoided.