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Online Account Nonsense

About once a week, I find myself creating a hand full of new accounts for various sites that I may or may not ever use again. And then there are the couple that expired or were purged that I have to renew. Of course also we can’t forget the passwords that need to be changed – which I’ll admit even as a security professional, I’m not as on top of as I should be.

Today, I decided to count all of the accounts I have for sites that I have to date. Not including client accounts or ISP/telephony – just things like containerstore.com and blogger.com – I have over 225. As someone who learned about e-commerce before it existed, I’m still mind-boggled by this. Who can keep track of these things in a secure, organized fashion without being overwhelmed?

a) Use a site that aggregates passwords that better be damn secure if you have any kind of financial or personal data in it
b) Save passwords in an insecure but easily accessible location
c) Use the same password for multiple accounts
d) Create fake email accounts that are really anonymous or have pseudonyms to use for as many as possible

These still each have their own problems. But what’s the alternative? Don’t read news online, don’t conduct business transactions online, don’t use your own identification for your searching? It’s tiresome…


  1. >A local encrypted password database. There’s a variety of programs out there for this, some of which will sync with a palm or other PDA. Just be sure to pick a good strong master password and that the product you choose is using strong crypto.