If you’re like most people, then you probably have more than a couple of passwords. A lot more. Passwords for email services, entertainment sites, web services, and things like that.
The problem with passwords is that they can be hard to remember. Or, at least, it’s hard to keep track of which password you use with which site or service. There are a number of excellent password management applications for desktop and mobile. But you’re not always at your own computer and your mobile device might not be handy.
Why not turn to the web? There are a number of services that let you securely manage and access your passwords, no matter where you are.
Let’s take a look at Passpack, a secure and easy to use online password manager.
Setting Up Your Account
While Passpack has paid accounts, you can also sign up for a free one. The free one lasts forever but is limited to 100 passwords.
When you sign up, you’re asked to create a user name and a password. Both are a minimum of six characters and are case sensitive.
That doesn’t seem too secure, does it? Even if you enter a long password, there’s always some doubt about its security.
But when you click Sign up Now, you still have one more thing to do. And that’s create a packing key. The packing key is a sentence (one which is easy for you to remember) that encrypts and decrypts your passwords in Passpack.
When you click Done, you’re ready to go.
Adding Your Passwords
Let’s say you’ve logged into your Passpack account. After entering your user name, password, and packing key you’re taken to a page containing information about your account and news about the service. Click the Passwords tab at the top of the page.
Click the Add New button to add a password to Passpack.
All you need to enter are a name for the site or service, your user ID, and the password for that site or service. Optionally, you can add a link and the email address that you signed up with. You can also add a note about the site. That could be anything from what you use it for to challenge questions and answers that might come up when you try to log into the site.
Notice that there’s a gauge below the Password field that shows the strength of your password. A longer, more complex one will be stronger.
Once you’ve entered all the information, click OK.
Getting To Your Passwords When You Need Them
OK, you’re somewhere and need can’t remember your login information for a particular website. What do you do?
Log into Passpack and then click the Passwords tab at the top of the screen. From there, find the name of the site or service that you want to log into. Passpack lists them alphabetically, and only displays 12 per page. You can click the previous page and next page links at the bottom of each password list to move through your collection.
In the list, just click the name of the site or service for which you want to get your login information.
Notice that your password is hidden. That’s to protect you from shoulder surfing. Click show to display your password.
Pros and Cons
Passpack isn’t for everyone. You need to have an Internet connection in order to use it. And although Passpack is secure, it’s only as secure as you make it. You need to create a strong password and packing key.
On the other hand, Passpack is quite secure. You can read about how the service secures passwords here. On top of that, Passpack times out after five minutes of inactivity. You’ll have to enter your packing key to get back in.
If you’re not afraid to put your passwords on the web, then Passpack is a good choice. It’s secure and easy to use, and your passwords are at your fingertips no matter where you are.
Photo credit: Mihut84