Financial Advisor Marketing & Technology

Marketing & Technology For Independent Financial Advisors

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Password Management And Form Filling

At a recent webinar I conducted, I briefly showed attendess a program I use for password management. An advisor today emailed me a question asking me about that program.

Incidentally, if you have questions for me, please post them as comments on my blog. Don't email them to me. A lot of other advisors who read the blog regularly can probably benefit by seeing your question or may be able to answer it. I'm trying to create a community here and would genuinely appreciate your help by posting your comments and questions. About 1,000 unique visitors come to my blog every day and it would be great if you were all more visible and kept me in line.I've seen a nice increase in the last week or two in comments and appreciate that.

But back to the password management issue: The program I showed at the webinar recently is RoboForm. It's an inexpensive application that runs on your desktop. It's integrated into Internet Explorer. I've used it to store passwords for my bank account, Amazon, and dozens of other websites for about 10 years.

With RoboForm, you create one "master password" that gives you automatic access to all of your other passwords. You'd better never forget that password!

RoboForm automatically stores the URL of each log-in page—for Google, brokerage and credit card accounts, a back-up service you use, etc.

When you want to log in to a password-protected website, you can pull down a list of passwords in RoboForm. RoboForm will navigate you to the website, automatically fill in your user ID and password on the site, and log you in.

The image on the right shows you the way RoboForm is embedded in my browser. The upper left corner of the image shows you the RoboForm toolbar in my browser. When I click on the "Logins" buttons, I see a list of all password-protected websites for which I have stored log-ins in RoboForm. When I choose any of the sites on that list, RoboForm automatically navigates to the log-in page, fills in my credentials, and logs me in.

RoboForm has a number of other useful features, including:

  • Password Generator to automatically generate "strong" passwords that would be impossible for you to remember
  • Auto-fills forms for you. Insert your credit card numbers, Social Security number, phones, and other identification information one time in RoboForm and it stores it and fill it in when you come to sites requiring that information.
  • Secure note storage.

Any password or other information you store in RoboForm can be encrypted. I’ve never had a security issue.

RoboForm requires a few weeks of active use to master but you can get started using it immediately. The company also makes version that runs on a USB thumb drive, RoboForm2Go, allowing you to carry around stored passwords that are encrypted. Just plug in the USB drive and you can use your passwords on any PC and leave no trace of them behind.

I don't use this RoboForm2Go, but I trust RoboForm and can see why some advisors might find this useful. I would probably "wear a belt and suspenders" if using RoboForm2Go by running it on a USB drive that can be "killed" if lost, something like the Kanguru Defender.

4 Responses to “Password Management And Form Filling”

  1. May 28th, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    TimK says:

    KeePass is a free, Open Source alternative to RoboForm. KeePass has a similar feature set, and runs on a variety of browsers and operating systems. It may seem counter intuitive, but open source implementations of standard encryption algorithims (e.g. AES) benefit from the increased scrutiny of the developer community. I’m much more comfortable putting my trust in an open source program with a database containing all of my passwords than a commercial, proprietary program.

    If you decide to use this type of program, you should use a PASSPHRASE with a minimum length of 20 characters.

  2. May 28th, 2009 at 6:42 pm

    Andrew Gluck says:

    Since I bought RoboForm 10 years ago ($29) and liked it so much, I never looked at other applications. Thanks for letting me know about KeePass.

    Open source software is great and we’re using more and more open source apps in our business at Advisor Products.

  3. June 10th, 2009 at 2:25 pm

    Clint Struthers says:

    Tim and Andrew: I’m sure this is a really dumb question, but could one of you explain what open source software is? You can tell by my question nobody pays me to know this tech stuff but i am very interested in knowing more about this password software as like everybody else I’ve got way too many these days!

    Thank you

    Clint

  4. June 19th, 2009 at 11:11 am

    roboform says:

    Thanks for the recommendation Andrew:-) For users that are worried about data loss, be it with RoboForm or RoboForm2Go, please note we now offer free optional synchronization to our servers with RoboForm Online: https://online.roboform.com.

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