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I am an avid web surfer and I surf a lot of websites. I also have my accounts on numerous sites. The problem is when I need to sign in to some websites, I have to search my two mailboxes for username. And also sometimes its very hard to remember the email ID I used at the time of singing up. I am looking a for solution which saves my time and also organizes a list of websites.

Note: Actually I forgot to mention that it will be better if there is an app which helps in storing and generating passwords too. I don't have that much of a problem in remembering passwords. The only thing which confuses me is what emailID I used at the time of signing up and also, sometimes, what openID did I used.

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Similar recommendation to use, addressing most of the security concerns. I shared more on cloud-based password management – Anthony Vigneron Jun 24 '12 at 8:32
What browser do you use? – JP Hellemons Oct 30 '12 at 13:22
@JPHellemons Mostly firefox & chrome. – Ashutosh Dave Oct 30 '12 at 16:24
up vote 17 down vote accepted

I'd take a look at 1Password or LastPass. They allow you to securely store not just your username but also your password on all of your accounts, and automatically enter them with a keyboard shortcut or a couple clicks whenever you need them.

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I upvoted Yuji's suggestion for 1Password and LastPass. I wanted to also comment that LastPass also holds form data, notes, and a lot of other things if you want it to. 1Password may very well do the same, but I'm a LastPass user and very happy with it. Also, LastPass works on multiple platforms. I use it on Windows (Firefox and Chrome), iOS, and Android. – Dennis S. Feb 21 '12 at 19:06
Much safer than typing in passwords yourself, since you can generate secure (i.e., long passwords with upper/lowercase, numbers, and symbols) passwords and have a different one for each account, whereas if you don't you're probably using one or a small number of insecure passwords for all your accounts. LastPass stores your passwords in the cloud so it's arguably slightly less secure than 1Password, which stores them on an encrypted file on your machine. – yuji Feb 22 '12 at 7:58
+1 for LastPass, I could not live without it... – pgras Feb 23 '12 at 11:22
@AshutoshDave They are safe as long as you have a SECURE master password. LastPass stores your data in the cloud while 1Password stores it locally, but allows for Dropbox sync (so that might help you choose). LastPass has a free and premium version, 1Password costs money. – scientifics Jun 25 '12 at 15:07
Admittedly there's some level of trust required, but if you consider the business model, it's of no advantage to either company to start stealing passwords. Their livelihood depends on people believing their software is secure and continuing to purchase it. Also, LastPass encrypts the data browser-side with Javascript which is, by nature, transparent and audit-able. 1Password has a very good reputation and very good documentation about their encryption methodology. If you're still not satisfied, you can use an open source solution like Keypass (mentioned in the previous comment). – Avian00 Oct 30 '12 at 13:13

KeePass is another multi-platform, encrypted password store. It holds username, password, site name, site url, and notes. Bonus features include keyboard shortcuts for opening sites and entering username and password; generating passwords according to a provided list of rules (length, allowed characters, etc.); running fabulously off a USB flash drive; and being Free and Open Software.

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Surprised that there is only one recommendation for KeePass! – Gaʀʀʏ Jun 25 '12 at 20:44
@le_garry +1. Esspecialy since it works on every OS. – Roel Oct 30 '12 at 14:14

The usual productivity approach is to gather data from hard to reach places into a single place which is easy to reach; one approach is an automated tool as mentioned in the other answer(s), another approach is to store in in a place that is easy to reach but still secure.

OneNote allows you to easily store and retrieve data in nodes, also allowing you to protect personal information with a password. Evernote also seems to support something similar like this, as you can encrypt single notes.

The bottom line of my answer is that this is also applicable to other things than user accounts, it's important to gather the same type of information together as that makes it easier to find the information you need.

But well, when you can get around with at automated solution, that's probably even a better option.

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I should have read your post closer, I think I've just said much the same thing. Anyway, a problem with OneNote and password protected pages is accessibility--the Android client (and I'm guessing the iOS clients) don't allow you to view password protected sections yet. – jontyc Mar 23 '12 at 6:02
@jontyc: No problem. The problem here is actually that the question's title lists "best", which invites too much answers that compete without a real definitive answer. I hope that password protected pages come to your device soon, but I guess logging in to the online service already serves as a first password protection... – Tom Wijsman Mar 23 '12 at 6:26

Having a separate password application means:

  • one more place to have your information spread across
  • one more app to install on every device you use
  • one more app that can become incompatible with a new O/S change or upgrade
  • one more app you'll probably have to pay for, once for each device when you find free versions don't do what you want.

I went down that path. I bought msecure on the Android (because it had no trial), but ditched it before the trial of the desktop version was over. Not because it wasn't any good, it just seemed redundant.

Take for example a hosted email account.

I kept the email login, password and server addresses in msecure.

But already in my notetaking app I have

  • tax receipts for it
  • issues I've had with it
  • quirks with configuring it
  • related accounts, such as aliases or catchalls
  • info for its domain
  • its MX records for my webhost
  • important emails to it
  • ...

Furthermore, to manage that email account I need different login details than to use it, so now I needed to look up that as well or have it duplicated.

So it felt silly to have to call up another app just for the password when my notetaking app can have it all there, and have the password encrypted as well.

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Nice one!! What note taking app do u use? How do you encrypt password in a note taking app? – Ashutosh Dave Nov 5 '12 at 14:53
I use Evernote which allows a password protected encryption of text (desktop versions can en/decrypt, mobile versions only decrypt AFAIK). It might be not the highest grade of encryption but the ease of just having one application ready at my fingertip trumps everything else in my mind. – jontyc Nov 6 '12 at 2:01
OK, I'll will definitely try that out. I didn't know that Evernote could do that!! – Ashutosh Dave Nov 7 '12 at 11:55

After upvoting Yuji's response, I wanted to note that 1Password also has Windows and Android clients. In addition, thanks to the wonder that is Dropbox, there is a web interface into your 1Password database in the instance that you are away from your computer, smartphone, etc. You may not use it normally, but you'll be happy it's there when you absolutely need it.

I may be a fanboy of 1Password, but the database is encrypted, there are hotkeys that automatically fill your login items, and you can save and encrypt notes, receipts, other personal records and they are all available via the other clients. It is useful when travelling abroad.

You can also save some basic personal info as well as your credit card information and have it populate those fields on websites. Saving those little bits of time can be really beneficial. It also stores registration numbers for applications if you need to reinstall software or when you move to a new computer.

When we hear of databases being broken into on a regular basis, its nice to know that I can easily and quickly change my password, that it doesn't match any other password I use and I can make that 40-character password that will likely deter people from getting into your accounts.

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Personally, I would just use the same userid/email consistently across all sites as much as possible. The sets I have over the years can be all counted on one hand, and do not require assistance to lookup.

However, you probably shouldn't do that for passwords (which you didn't mention, and is something I find surprising, as usually people have more problems remembering passwords rather than userids), unless they are fairly long (around 20 characters and longer) and are thus unlikely to succumb to bruteforce attacks. I have nothing against the use of password/key management software, but I try not to rely on such tools if I can help it, out of habit.

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I can remember passwords as I have a really long base password and a prefix & suffix made from website I am visiting! – Ashutosh Dave Feb 19 '12 at 2:47
No no, you should only reuse passwords on sites you don't care about. Using a long, "secure" password doesn't help at all if you use it on a site that stores it in plaintext and then gets hacked. Getting your password bruteforced is the least of your worries. – dreeves Feb 21 '12 at 21:03
I am aware of that, but there's nothing you can do about unsecured sites. You cannot expect any amount of password security just as the case where you are infected with a keylogger. – prusswan Feb 22 '12 at 1:49
@dreeves I do have a really long password!! and i don't login on unsecured sites!! If i have to then i use a fake profile or some temporary emailID!! – Ashutosh Dave Feb 22 '12 at 7:10
Nobody actually bruteforces in reality. Any site with basic security will lock you out after a few thousand failed attempts (5 char alphanumeric). Not to mention that it takes a really long time between tries. They are far more likely to just take it off a password list. See the Rifkin heist. – Muz Nov 6 '12 at 8:12

I browse the web with FireFox and use the build in password manager.

You can search passwords too by start typing the url of the website.

it is build in, so no additional software is required.

enter image description here

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I know that but what if you use more than one browser or surf web on more than one device? – Ashutosh Dave Oct 30 '12 at 16:26
why the -1? You can sync to your mobile browser and/or other pc's and this is just a solution when you have one main (default)browser.… Chrome isn't there yet: – JP Hellemons Oct 30 '12 at 20:30
Yes you may be right but what if I use multiple browsers. Actually I use Firefox a lot but sometimes I have to use Chorme. I know how to use the built-in password manager but I'm asking not for that. I wanted a productive way like an app like lastpass or even a simple paper method. I m looking for something which saves time and easy to look up and managae. Thats all! Sorry for -1. – Ashutosh Dave Nov 5 '12 at 14:50

LastPass - generates and stores usernames, passwords, etc. You can access your account from any device and if you frequent certain sites on a regular basis you can program it to log you in automatically.

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I'd strongly discourage storing a password anywhere outside your head, because it's a very high security risk. Every time you need to remember a stored password, you'd have to access that storage location. Someone could intercept you while you access it and get access to all your passwords. E.g. packet sniff the transmission if it's an online tool, hack the password from memory, or just plain look over your shoulder.

Since you'll be accessing this multiple times, it becomes the weak link. It defeats the purpose of keeping multiple passwords.

It's better to generate your own passwords. For example, I could have a base password of muZ1312$ and then add the first and last letters of something to it. So, something like a Stack Exchange password could be muZ1312$Se, Hotmail could be muZ1312$Hl, Facebook could be muZ1312$Fk. While it's still a security weak link, people would need several of your passwords to reverse engineer it. You can always adopt a generation method that's less obvious at first glance, like multiplying a number by the length of the site's name.

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Unfortunately your plan is actually not very secure at all. Your misconception and others are discussed in answers on this security.SE question:… – Rory Alsop Nov 6 '12 at 9:58
@RoryAlsop How does that question go against what I said? My point was to get complex, but easy to memorize passwords. If you find the correct horse battery staple style easier to memorize, by all means, use that instead. I can more easily memorize confusing symbols. Overall, that thread seems to agree that writing down a password anywhere is a major security risk, which was what I said. – Muz Nov 6 '12 at 10:20
Sorry - should have given more clarity. The single most important factor in password strength is length. The next most is how to remember something of that length - from a productivity perspective, go for very long passwords stored in a password manager protected by 1 strong password you will need to remember. – Rory Alsop Nov 6 '12 at 10:39
It boils down to what you expect your weakest link to be. Personally, I think someone is far, far more likely to lose an account to social engineering than getting even a 5 character password forced. A password manager significantly increases the payoff and weak points for social engineers to manipulate. But if you have full confidence in keeping your master password secure, you could go ahead with it. – Muz Nov 6 '12 at 16:34

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