As I have rolled out all the technology in my new RIA, I made a conscious effort to put as much information in the cloud as possible, to give me maximum flexibility. That strategy will also allow my clients to access their financial data in real time and make the planning process flow more succinctly.
Yet I have concerns about security. In having multiple software programs, I have multiple logins to remember -- or, as it turns out, to forget. In pure frustration, I compiled a spreadsheet of my logins and various passwords. But yes, I know, stupid idea. If someone got access to my computer and cracked my main password, they would have full access to all my programs -- and more ominously, to the financial details of my clients.
After doing a little research and talking to other tech-savvy advisors, Ive found one potential solution (although there are others available). LastPass is a browser plugin that manages all of your passwords. It can store all of your multiple login details (I have 29 unique logins right now) and can automatically populate the fields when you hit a website. (One nice feature: In order to enable that process, you have to provide a master password.)
LastPass is highly customizable; it can remember full login details or none at all. It can sync across various computers and mobile devices -- which is helpful now that I carry some client data in my cell phone. All the data is encrypted in its system, and the company says no employees will have access to your data.
Personally, Im excited to get multiple passwords out of my head and focus on important things. And yes -- I have deleted the spreadsheet!