My Passwords are Destroying My Life!


The more interactions I have with the corporate part of oil & gas companies the more I realize:

  1. They have lots of systems that aren’t linked in and require different passwords.
  2. They require passwords to be changed on some arbitrary basis that doesn’t even match for their own systems.
  3. The password requirements are such gibberish that there is no way a human can remember them without writing it down on the desk on a sticky note.

I’m sure the rest of the world is the same way.  The 6 different passwords I have for work — when combined with the passwords in my personal life (phone company, bank, email, internet, even my front door has a passcode) create a jumble of numbers in my head that is ridiculous.  If you are anything like me you end up recycling passwords and adding numbers and letters to the beginning or the end of old ones just to try and remember them.  Let me give you an example, for one of the login systems at a previous client these were the password rules:

  1. Must be different than the last 7 passwords.
  2. Must be a combination of letters & numbers.
  3. Must contain at least one special character (!,@,#,%, etc)
  4. Must not contain any letters or numbers that repeat more than once in a row. (aa, bb,cc,11,etc)
  5. Must not contain any letters or numbers that are ascending or descending order more than once in a row (12,34,56,ab,cd,etc)
  6. Must be changed every 30 days.

Guess what everyone did after the first couple of passwords?  They wrote it on a sticky note and put it on their monitor.  That sounds safe.  I’m sure the cleaning crew wasn’t interested in getting the information, but if I wanted the information you can bet who I would bribe.

About a year ago I came across a product on Kickstarter (I love Kickstarter, it is the reason FrackNation was produced) called MyIDkey.  It had been on my mind for a while that I needed a solution to keep track of all my passwords, and I while I know there are password management programs out there — I wanted something more robust.  MyIDkey seemed to be it.  I haven’t mentioned it to my readers as of yet, because I wanted to make sure the product would actually be released.  The way that Kickstarter works, people ‘back’ products by purchasing them before they are released, this allows the developers to have the funds to actually bring the product to market.  Well, now MyIDkey is getting ready to come to market… and I think it’s a worthy product to share with you.

So What Is It?

MyIDkey SwipeMyIDkey is a usb drive (thumbdrive) that acts a secure password management vault.  I say it is secure because it has physical security as well as digital security built in to protect the information you save on it.  One of the things that I like about it is that while it can connect to your computer/laptop/smart phone via USB or bluetooth, it also has a OLED readout.  This allows you to store items like bank account numbers that you can never remember, and then view it on the LED.  Of course you don’t want just anyone looking at that LED — so there is a fingerprint scanner on the device.  After you unlock the device, you can tap a button to scroll through the passkeys, or you can use voice search to quickly find the key you are looking for.

The next fear most people have is losing the device.  MyIDkey takes care of that by backing up the data to an online database, and while you can’t remotely wipe the device, you can set it up to auto-erase after a definable amount of attempts to access.  The data that is actually on the device is encrypted with a AES256 bit encryption chip.

My biggest use of the device will be auto-filling passwords and other fields when I’m on my computer though.  It will allow me to have more complex passwords and manage password changes with ease, making my information more secure, and my life easier.  I think that the security built into the device outweighs the risks, and it’s a more secure solution than what I’m doing now.  

If you have better solutions tell us about it in the comments below!

MyIDkey 2I know this is a “quick and dirty” review, but you can read more about it on their website —  In addition, right now they are running a promotion where they gave all the initial backers a ‘coupon code’ good for $50 off.  I’ve put the coupon code in the link to the website, but just in case it doesn’t work, on checkout enter code: “RAYODYVEFYTW2P


Randy Young

Randy Young

Randy is a land consultant with experience in field and in-house land work, land administration, and software consulting with systems used in the land management business. He is an active member of the AAPL, HAPL, and NHAPL and is a regular attendee of industry functions.

Randy’s latest projects have included land data systems integrations, with a focus on Quorum Land System.

  • Bradford says:

    I recommend keepass 1.x classic edition from It costs nothing, runs on Everything (including your apple or android phone) and you control the backups to your PC or to many cloud storage services like dropbox.

    • Randy Young Randy Young says:

      Keepass is a great software product — I was looking for a hardware based option for a few reasons. Most importantly that I needed something portable that didn’t require a SSL connection, I also wanted the device the software was on to have AES256 encryption with tamper resistance. I think it’s a neat option for those who have a need (or want) for something like that. I am also guilty of being a technophile…

    • Randy Young Randy Young says:

      Yeah, I’m not real happy about it myself. It was a fiasco, and one of the negative things about backing products through crowd-funding. I still do contribute to products thorough kick-starter though. And the good outweighs the idiots.

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