A Simple Suggestion

Frustrated with sites requiring registration? David Passell explains his simple solution. Maybe it's just what you need, too.

"I attempted to keep records on my computer, but a lot of times couldn't anticipate all the steps. I also had some of them on a PW protected file. It was hard to keep up to date.

"Then I had random pieces of scribbled paper which invariably got lost.

"Finally I reverted to a pack of lined 3 x 5 cards. When I encounter a site that wants registration (e.g. the FLOSS manuals) I get a card. I write the name of the service and include the full www or http:// web URL
The email that I use (some sites use them for ID, others don't).
ID that they ask for (some are case-sensitive, some not)
(Notes on other things requested}
Password: Be sure to indicate upper/lower case, numbers, etc.
My personal name ("nickname") that may be how I am addressed when I log in.

"Many sites will send a confirming email on the registration which you then have to respond to to "verify the registration." There will often be a follow up email.

"It is a good idea to set up an email Mailbox in which to save those messages.

"Some of these sites may be tricky: for example you might have a card titled MacFixit, but actually your registration and log in are with CNET. This is not to be confused with ZDNET which is an entirely different registration.

"After filling out the card, put it in a safe place. Over time you may accumulate a pile of them, which you can then sort as you see fit. Currently I have 29. As before mentioned, keep them safe. If you have a scanner you can scan a group of them. If you have a burst of enthusiasm you might even enter their content into some small files.

"When you go somewhere take the cards of sites you may want to visit (like at a meeting).

"I realize this may sound primitive, but over the last few days it has saved me a lot of time when I don't remember the PW and other details. Of course on your own computer, you can have the browser remember the password."

Art Gorski sends us his solution: He uses a smartphone (can't justify an iPhone in 3G-less Prescott!) and has a password safe application on it. Whenever he needs to login to a website or supply credentials for a shopping cart, he just looks them up on his phone. If he had an iPhone, he would use 1Password, which works on your Mac to store all this stuff and syncs the info to an iPhone application.
Now to hear from Bobbie Pastor: "In addition to Dave's and Art's solutions, I have a method that I use for keeping track of website passwords. I have a designated address book that I keep right at my desktop. It has my credit card numbers and the websites listed in alphabetical order. It works great for me."