Remember Password On This Computer? – Never more!!

April 1st, 2009 by Olga Koksharova

Fresh life experience…A very good friend of mine told me a story I would like to share with you with her kind permission. Recently she has found a new job in a medium size company. She was perfectly satisfied with her new position and new tasks. She also got a well equipped working place including her principal tool for work – computer, which actually she inherited from an ex-employee who lately moved to another company. The company could have bought her a new computer, but what for, if there was working one absolutely ownerless. Windows XP already installed along with numerous useful applications, even her favorite Safari was there.

Inspired by favorable circumstances she got down to her duties with enthusiasm and…practically in a couple of minutes she easily found out whom exactly that very computer belonged earlier. Guess how?

At the workplace they haven’t set her corporate email account yet, so she decided to use her personal Gmail account and she typed “gmail.com” in the web browser address line. As soon as the page loaded, she could see former employee’s Gmail inbox, contacts and all other stuff. That is all! The moral – when you run away to another job, do take a minute to properly cover up your tracks.

No, seriously, have you noticed that it is always tempting to put a tick against “remember me on this computer” option and never think about password again. However, I strongly recommend having a seed of doubt in everything about IT security. Before you leave personal data on your computer, check help files, they really help! Gmail Help says “When you check the box [Remember me on this computer] and log in, Gmail sets a cookie (lasting two weeks) to remember you when you return to the site from the same computer.”

Another common praxis is using Gmail and other similar web services through one email client (Outlook, The Bat!, etc.) which is useful indeed, no need to re-enter your password, no need to remember it as well. Even if it happened to get lost Advanced Mailbox Password Recovery restores it in a minute. You see, in the long run it all revolves around physical access. It is very often that users neglect basic protection and such neglectful behavior sooner or later ends up in data leakage. Computer security is not about ciphering; it is about attentiveness when working with computer.

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