Imagine how many user accounts you have. If you use Firefox to save your login information, go to preferences -> security -> show passwords… You will see a glimpse of how many user accounts you have on the internet – I have well over 200 accounts. With your personal accounts, usually a person has a set of a few passwords and probably won’t have a hard time getting in. However, the companies we work for have a healthy set of logins as well, and are most likely poorly documented.
Document Company Passwords!
Please, take some time this week to document the passwords on behalf of your company. Show them this article, get some time in to do this. This is a simple thing that can really smooth things out for all of us. It is also a great thing to document is the contact for each system. Hosting accounts, routers, web accounts, email, etc should all be documented. It is a silly thing to waste time fetching passwords when you want to get something accomplished.
On the note of user accounts, there is a system called Open ID that many of you either know of or are using. Open ID lets you tie your identity to a domain, allowing you to use your one user account across multiple websites. As of May 1st, 2008 myopenid.com reported that 13196 websites support the Open ID protocol . This means that if you have an open id account you no longer have to register with each of the 13,000+ websites.
Open ID is a ways from becoming a ubiquitous platform, but it certainly can help slim down that user account list. Until then, we are left in a sea of accounts and passwords where documentation is our best navigation.