Stop Remembering Passwords And Switch To Identity Management!

Chances are you’ve got a Facebook account, a Twitter account, a Google account (maybe even two), and several other accounts to cloud services you use all over the Web. Not only do you have to remember the URLs to these places, but you also have to remember every username, email, and password ever assigned to these accounts. Can you still do that when 2013 rolls in and you have to get into an account you last accessed back in 2010?

Do you even use different passwords? About a quarter of all Americans are estimated to use the same password for literally everything. A much larger amount use the same password for more than one account, perhaps limiting themselves to three “main” passwords. A few months ago, Yahoo fell victim to an attack in which almost half a million passwords were leaked. For those who use the same password for every service, that’s a really tough one to bite. Many accounts were accessed, and several people’s PayPal accounts froze because of illicit account access.

So, how do you manage to have more than 20 different passwords without going nuts? The answer: identity management, sometimes also referred to as password management.

With identity management, you create one single “identity” on the Web where all your passwords and usernames are stored. In other words, all of your passwords go into a secure database on a remote cloud server, allowing you to log in automatically to websites with a single click. The process is much simpler than you think.

Currently, there are two services offering automatic logins to websites through password management: SmartSignin and LastPass. I’ve had the pleasure of trying both services, so I’m going to compare the two.

All in all, both services do a decent job of encrypting your information, meaning that all of the passwords you put into their servers will remain encrypted and safe. The only problem is that you don’t have control over the encryption process when you use LastPass. SmartSignin does a really good job of letting you create your own encryption key to lock any data you put into it, even locking it from SmartSignin itself. They literally cannot see or make sense of anything you put in there because you’re the only person with the key that unlocks it.

In the user-friendliness department, SmartSignin wins again. LastPass has some really cool features, but they’re very confusing and lead to a load of trouble for someone who’s just looking for something with a smaller learning curve. If you want all the bells and whistles, though, LastPass is your best bet. If you want something you can just use right out of the box, go for SmartSignin.

LastPass and SmartSignin both have enterprise offerings, although it’s a little harder to find the one for LastPass. If you want it, you can find it here. The pricing on both services is definitely attractive, but I highly suggest using SmartSignin for a full enterprise environment, as it has a more secure platform that’s easier for your employees to learn.

Whatever service you choose, make sure it’s right for you, your employees, and anyone else who’s going to use it. Perhaps one of the best things about using identity management is that you get to save time while providing your business with a complete security blanket over your online “you.”

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Miguel Leiva-Gomez is the owner of The Tech Guy, a blog that presents futuristic and current news about technology with a light touch of humor, catering to the average consumer and prospective investor. Miguel has been working with computers and gadgets for more than a decade, working together with people to help them solve their problems and breaking down complex concepts into simple bite-sized pieces that the average Joe can chew.

11 thoughts on “Stop Remembering Passwords And Switch To Identity Management!

  1. ComputerPhil

    LastPass has had too many repeated security issues over the past year, I prefer RoboForm by Siber Systems. They were the first on the market and their servers have never been breached by hackers unlike LastPass. There are more features offered by RoboForm and they have better support (only password manager to offer live phone support and it is based here in the U.S.).

    Reply
    • miguel_gomez

      Indeed. Last I heard, LP has since worked on ‘improvements’ to their service. I would take this with a grain of salt. But you can trust SSI with your life. Anyway, both of them are decent for small entrepreneurs. SSI needs a little interface work and LP needs to work more on its backend.

      Reply
  2. Sam Reiley

    I agree Phil. RoboForm is a MUCH better product than either of the two products mentioned in the article above.

    Reply
      • Sam Reiley

        In my opinion, the browsers are not as secure. Plus I use different browsers and another benefit of any password manager is that you can use any browser, not be locked into one browser.

        Reply
        • miguel_gomez

          SSI may have a slightly robust interface (last I heard, they’re working on a friendlier interface), but the backend beats anything functioning today.

          Reply
  3. Avinash Chaturvedi

    As i have mentioned earlier also you shuld be able to log in to all your accounts from any device. Roboform although is good, has its limitations..

    Reply
    • Jeff Smith

      Roboform stores your passwords on your device itself. Your device is very vulnerable. On the other hand, SmartSignin splits your urls, usernames, & passwords for each and every site into three key fragments only one of which is stored on SmartSignin servers. The other fragments are generated only during the actual session connection leaving the fragments stored on the servers useless to any attackers. With SmartSignin there is no single point-of-failure.

      Reply

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