Sending Passwords By Email

| Total Words: 281

It amazes me how many sites allow you to register, and then send you an e-mail to your registered address containing your password in plain-text. There is never a warning stating that the site will email the password you use, for all to see.

Sending passwords by e-mail works when you forget a password. The site changes it and e-mails you the new one, which you then use to log in and change it to something else. The e-mailed password is not active for very long, and it isnt something you chose.

Sending you your own password, either in a welcome e-mail once you register, or as a response to a forgot password request is bad security. Really bad security.

Compounding this is the fact that e-mail providers such as Google Gmail state in their privacy policy that deleted e-mail may be kept indefinitely on their backup servers. As soon as someone e-mails you your password in plain-text, to a Gmail account, Google are likely to have that archived forever.

You cant tell whether a site is going to do to this, so it isnt possible to use a less sensitive password for sites which will e-mail your password back to you. If you have groups of passwords; one for sites...

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