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Forget your passwords with PassPack's auto-login

Forgetting passwords? Try PassPack's 1-click auto-login feature.

I'm a sucker for password tools. Since signing on with Webware late last year, I've since amassed a collection of site log-ins the size of a pulp romance novel, and despite my youthful brain, remembering all of them is clearly impossible. A solution I've been using for some months is Roboform, which is a small piece of software that will let you keep your user names and passwords safely tucked away, combined with a browser plug-in that will automatically log you in to each site. This morning I've been playing around with a new feature from PassPack (review), which does the same thing sans software.

It's called 1-Click Auto Login, and as the name suggests, it will log you in to any site using the passwords you're stored in PassPack's password manager. All you have to do is enable the feature on your PassPack account, and drag a simple bookmarklet up to your browser's toolbar, or favorites folder. From then on, if you're visiting a site that's been added to your list of passwords, clicking the "PassPack It!" bookmarklet will autofill your log-in credentials. If you've got the one-click option enabled (it's off by default), it will go the next step and log you in automatically.

If you've got your login information setup, clicking the bookmarklet will automatically log you in to a site. CNET Networks

On the security side, since the bookmarklet pulls up your log-in credentials, and can be added to multiple browsers on multiple machines, you can deactivate it remotely and without having to from machine to machine. Likewise, you can reactivate all instances at once if you feel like locking things up when away from your machine.

There is one big snag when comparing this feature to Roboform. PassPack doesn't handle multiple log-ins for the same site with grace. When visiting a site with multiple accounts, PassPack will defer to the newer log-in for that site. Roboform, on the other hand, pops up to give you a small list of log-ins you can pick and choose from. I find this feature especially helpful when accessing one of my Google accounts, as I've got three I use in heavy rotation.

Clipperz, a competing online password management system, has a similar feature called "Direct Login" that closely emulates this multi-log-in list functionality. You can pick your login credentials from a sidebar which is summoned using a bookmarklet, and you're good to go. The service offers nearly the same feature set you get from PassPack, although Passpack has a few I find particularly helpful such as tagging and an offline mode that lets you access your passwords and make changes without an internet connection. There's a really great comparison chart put together by PassPack's CEO, that showcases some of the differences and similarities. If you're on the fence about which service fits your needs, it's a good read.

Which ever tool you choose, I'd highly recommend using one of these services to save and access your casual site log-ins if you've got more than a dozen. They're extremely helpful when it comes to accessing sites you signed up for months ago. As for financial services (banks, credit cards, and so on) and e-mail accounts with sensitive information, you're better off using your noggin.