Recently a subscriber wrote with a specific problem. However, the way the problem occurred has wider implications, perhaps for a lot of readers.
I’m subscriber to your newsletter, and it was being sent to my Gmail account.
Last night I changed the password to that account, not noticing that my browser was sandboxed. I asked the browser to remember the password and it did. I tested it and it worked fine so I deleted the new password from a WordPad note.
When I restarted the browser a bit later, the new password was gone and the old one was there. And of course I couldn’t log in.
I went through all the reset hoops from Google, and about half the questions were non-applicable or for things I no longer remember. Consequently that email account is now dead.
Would you please change my subscription address back to [old email address ]instead of the current [bad gmail address]? Thanks.
My newsletter emails now include the ability to change your email address — just click on the link at the very bottom of the email, the link that says "Change Subscriber Options".
Unfortunately, if you can’t access your copy of the newsletter, then you can’t fix it yourself. An alternative fix could be to sign up again, but that would leave the "dead" email address still subscribed and still getting newsletters. So, I changed his email address as requested.
The problem to which I referred as having wider implications has to do with the password storage, and by extension, any kind of data storage.
Never trust that the one copy of a file (or a password) will always be there and available. Back up your computer. back up your data files. Back up your browser configuration. Know how to restore these, too.
In this case, the reader used Wordpad as temporary storage for his new password as he created it, entered it into his web browser, and made sure the web browser could log into Gmail using it.
The problem is that he deleted his only copy of the password other than the copy in his web browser (and then the changes in the "sand-boxed&jquot; web browser were deleted when he closed the browser!).
Always keep at least one copy of your passwords. Perhaps on paper, perhaps not. But, you’ll need them, and re-creating all your passwords is a big pain.
Don’t even think about using the same userID and password on multiple web sites — that’s how people find that all their accounts get hacked, sometimes even their bank accounts.
I use an encrypted database on my iPhone to store userID’s and unique passwords for each of my online accounts. The App is called HandBase (www.handbase.com). I consider this one of the killer apps for my phone. Until it was available for the iPhone, i used a PalmOS-specific encrypted database on my old Palm PDA and then my Sony Clié PalmOS PDA.
The nice thing about HandBase is that its extremely easy to create a database to store anything you want. There are also a lot of applets available for free on the HandBase site.
HandBase is also available for Android and Mac. All versions are also supported by a Desktop version, which I consider to be critical, as it allows easy synchronization between the desktop and the handheld device.
With the Desktop version, you can export a database’s data as an Excel file. You can also import into the database from an Excel file, either replacing all the data in the database or adding the new data to the existing data.
Another alternative would be a tool like RoboForm, which is a commercial password keeper for the PC. There’s also a flash-drive based version.
Finally, there are some free password-keepers, too. I haven’t tried any of them, though.