We are now a decade into the information age and remembering account information has always been a challenge. Most of us really are not that organized. The problem is that we are growing more dependent on account information to access our digital assets.
It happens every now and then that a web site owner loses their web site only because they forgot their web hosting or domain registration account. More online services rely on email to communicate with you to save on printing and mailing costs. So it is important that you keep track of login data.
It seems unfair that the world is moving faster and the burden of remembering is getting worse. Plus we want to keep our digital assets secure. I am referring to domain names and web hosting, but this would apply to any online accounts like your bank account.
One way to do this is to visit your accounts on a monthly basis whether you need to maintain them or not. This way you can test if that login still works. Once in, it is typical to find administrative messages that might inform you of changes. Sound like a lot of extra busy work? Well, perhaps you need only do this with your most important online accounts.
I admit, I am spreading myself thin on the internet and I have a lot of personal digital assets to keep up with. I suspect many are not far behind me either with all the social media they have to sign up for. I keep detailed notes on every project and keep it in a folder and I date any changes.
Make sure that you keep your account information in a safe place. Use strong passwords with letters and numbers. Avoid using words in your passwords.
Your email may be the weakest link because important account information is sent to you through it. While every website handles the account information differently. Your email account is an important link. Make sure that you have proper anti virus software. Transfer important information off of your computer to paper or somewhere else for safety. Have you ever had to search old emails for important login information?
The problem with email is that some people start a new account and stop using the old one. When this happens, important renewal information gets missed if the old email account is not being monitored. You can do all sorts of things to solve this. Simply forward the old email to your new account. Or better yet, go to the account and update the email address so that you won’t miss important messages.
This is why visiting your online accounts once a month is a good practice. It is a different kind of ownership than many are used to. You can’t always touch your digital assets. Visiting your online accounts often gives you the opportunity to update credit card information, change passwords and to stay up to date with upgrades and policy changes.
It is a big responsibility and it usually isn’t appreciated until something gets lost. What do you think?