Keeping Track of Your Online Accounts

I imagine most people own at least a dozen of accounts online, from email accounts, chat accounts, to online banking, online shopping websites such as Amazon, eBay, Paypal, to Forums, Users groups, Social Media websites, etc. Some users have over 100 accounts. So, how do you keep track of all your usernames, passwords, info, etc? I found an easy way of organizing all my online accounts. I would like to share it here.

Use one email account

I use one email account for all my online activities. Most websites require that you register a valid email address. Using one single email address for all your online activity will make things easier. If you ever have to hunt for a forgotten username or password, you know where to go. To start your recovery, see my next point.

Keep all emails after registration

Most websites that require registration require a valid email address. Websites will usually send out a message or a notice that you have registered an account. Some websites require that you activate the account via an email link. It’s important that you keep these registration messages and not delete them. They sometimes contain usernames and passwords.

Create an “Accounts” folder

The next thing to do is to file all your registration email messages under one folder called “Accounts.” If you have forgetten your username or password in the future, you can always go back to this folder and search for the registration message you received when you first signed up for an account. Sometimes, the registration messages will reveal important information such as username, password or a hint question to get you logged in into an account.

Use one username

To simplify your online experience, you might want to consider using the same username when signing up for accounts. If your name is common, you might want to create something unique. Fortunately, both my firstname and lastname are not very common, so I use the same username for most of my accounts. I say most, because a couple times the account name was already taken. Having the same username may sound like a bad practice for security folks, but it does simplify things. Hence the importance of my next point.

Don’t use the same password for all accounts

Don’t use the same password for all your online accounts. This is bad security practice. If you have over 50 accounts, the practice of one password for each account could go out of hand. So, I recommend that use one password for your email accounts. Use a different password for finance/banking. Use another password for chat accounts, social sites, blogs, etc. You may end up with 5-6 passwords altogether, but it’s not going to be as daunting as having to remember all 50 passwords.

This is how I keep track of all my online accounts. What do you think?