How many online accounts do you have?

The process of trying to rationalise mine over the last few days has left me newly aware of how outdated the username and password system is. With a lot of effort I’ve managed to get it down to 55 accounts with their own username and password, as well as a few that use Twitter or Google ID to sign in. I’ve also been surprised at my inability to delete my data & accounts on some sites.

This is an interesting read on alternatives to the traditional password system. It seems obvious that something systematic has to change here. As sinister as I find google’s attempt to establish the ubiquity of the Google ID, its continued rise seem inexorable just because I can’t see any scalable alternative to this problem other than widespread social sign in. I’ve also deleted a lot of accounts in the last few days which don’t use social sign in that I would have kept if this wasn’t the case.

I’ve been increasingly aware in the last six months of my reticence to sign up to anything that requires a new username and password. I feel like I’ve now begun to put this into practice, with a list of all my active accounts, as well as an inclination to cut further. Ideally I would like to have 2 step authentication on my core accounts (Twitter, WordPress, Google) and be able to sign into everything else using one of these.

What worries me is that I’m sure I must have missed some of the accounts.

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