In a recent conversation with my mother (perhaps I was feeling a little down and in need of a bit of a pep talk), she did what all good mothers do and reminded me of all my good points. After a long pause, she came up with one:
“Ah...you’re a bit ...Autistic…”
Fantastic. Thanks Mum!
Why not just go the whole hog and tell me I am over the top OCD too? Actually, come to think of it, I am rather OCD, and likely because I am probably a bit Autistic....
Perhaps that's why I tend to get bored easily, and why sometimes I need a bit of fun to help me get through the day? A while ago, one favourite boredom busting pastimes of mine was making up amusingly memorable passwords for customers systems. So for instance, if a customer was a bit 'follically challenged', with a cheeky chuckle perhaps I would tap in B8ldyBr18n or maybe 5l1ckM1ck for passwords (and before you ask yes I just made these up!). OK yes, that's a bit naughty, but for me (the way that my brain works anyway) I found this technique a superb way of creating eternally memorable and super secure passwords. In a twisted way I would justify it as being good for me and 'good' for the customer...
Then, one day, thanks to a problem scenario about as likely as all the planets in the solar system lining up in a neat row like you get on ‘our universe’ astrology posters, the fun came back to bite my behind. Yes on that day, having tried every possible means to get out of jail, fate happened place me in the regrettable position of having to spell out, over the phone to a customer, letter by letter, the amusing password I had created especially 'for' him. I think it took him about five characters in to figure out the rest. Awkward! We got the problem resolved in the end, but the customers first action afterwards was to request the password be changed to his own epic creation (which was actually far funnier) about me. After that, we figured we needed to update our policy on generating amusing customer passwords. Boo!
And so in order to avoid any further embarrassing episodes, thankfully we discovered Roboform from Sieber Systems as an effective (but not quite so amusing) means of managing our passwords and secure data. The name doesn’t really do the product justice ("so it just fills in forms?" I remember a customer asking once), Roboform is actually a powerful and extremely secure password management system. With Roboform, we can set complex passwords, identity information (such as insurance & credit card details) and also store secure notes - and never worry about forgetting them or offending customers even. Simply click on the website link in your bookmark and Roboform will ask you for your master password, and then take you right to the website (or websites) in question and log you in.
The Roboform Everywhere version is a great way to sync your passwords between your own PCs, tablets and phones - everyone has multiple devices these days and there is no point having super passwords on you PC if you have to then struggle tapping them in on your tiny phone on screen keyboard. If you are a consumer, or a one person company, this is fine, but as ACC has grown, we have needed to delegate and share responsibilities around, and with shared responsibilities comes shared access to passwords. For us our only option with Roboform was to use it to securely email encrypted password data around, but we found this messy - especially when passwords change, as they have to by our security policies. Still, I guess it's much better than finding people sticking 'password post its' on screens (which generally fall off and get hoovered up by the cleaner) or updating a file called ‘Passwords.xls’ on a shared network drive. I mean, who still does THAT eh!?!??
To get around this problem, the good people at Sieber had an answer but it was a slightly clunky and expensive one. The ‘Enterprise Console’ was a server product you downloaded and hosted on premise, and it enabled you to share password data between users. The console product had a prohibitive capital cost, and also a management cost in setting it up and keeping it running securely. For smaller teams, it just wasn’t viable. Oh how we wished Siber could just make Roboform Everywhere, sharable.
Now, with Roboform 8, I’m really pleased to say, they have done just that.
(Above: Roboform EveryWhere For Business Group Edit Page)
The product is licensed on a per user basis, on an annual subscription, naturally for a product that enables you share passwords, the recommended minimum purchase is two licenses. The cost is approx £20.45+ VAT per user at the time of writing - ACC are a Seiber Systems partner so we should be able to get you discounted pricing - contact us for a more up to date price.
For me - it's the permission settings for users and groups, that Roboform Everywhere For Business comes into its own. You can select a user (or group of them) to only access password data when online, block access via IP address, see who's accessing / logging in, plus (and I think this is the killer feature) you can choose to share particular secure logins to particular users (twitter logins for instance), but without giving them the ability to see the password itself.
And it's that crucial feature, which means I can get back to creating even longer, even stronger, and naturally even more amusing passwords for our customers!
Passwords are a serious business, but with Roboform EveryWhere For Business, who's to say they can't also be funny business too, right?
(p.s. only joking customers!)