Let's say you signed onto your favorite online gaming site only to find out that someone else has obtained your username and password. Do you feel a stab of panic not knowing how many other sites that person now has access to? Using that same password, can they now get to your online banking?
How much work would it be to change all of your passwords?
Not everyone is uber-careful about their passwords. People have a tendency to re-use the same login information between many of their sites. That is a dangerous habit to be in but to free yourself seems impossible. How many passwords can you remember, especially the really good ones that are just random numbers, letters, and symbols?
A few years ago, during the annual MacHeist event, part of the yearly sale was the program 1Password. The premise seemed simple enough - have one program store all of your passwords and you only have to remember a master password or pass-phrase. I tried it right away. I changed several of my passwords over to the program and started letting it handle things for me.
I promptly quit.
It was not very portable, meaning if I signed on from any PC or anyone else's machine, I was out of luck. They had a way to deal with that then but I was too lazy to work on it. I put the program away.
Then I got an iPhone. I found that 1Password had an app for the same purpose. I tried again and I found that the way it synced up between my Mac and the phone was through WiFi. If I opened the program on my computer and on my phone then they were supposed to talk to one another and share information.
Sorry, that didn't work well. I could rarely get the computer to acknowledge that the phone was on. If they did somehow speak to one another, the program worked as advertised. Still, it was too hard. I put it away again.
Then they had a major update. 1Password started using Dropbox to sync. For those who don't know, Dropbox is an online service that syncs up a specific directory across all of your platforms (they even give you 2 GB for free!). Along with this is a small directory that you can put onto a thumb drive that will replicate the program on any machine you run it on. On the phone it contains a mini-browser that you use for all of your secure sites.
Third time is a charm. I've been using 1Password consistently now and I've stopped re-using passwords. The program is available for Mac, iPhone and iPad and a Windows version is currently in beta.
I highly recommend it.