`Buddy' facilitates multiple logons

Helpline

July 08, 2004|By James Coates | James Coates,CHICAGO TRIBUNE

I cannot get my new Hewlett-Packard Media Center computer to remember my passwords when I log on to various Web sites. Other computers in my work life handle logon fine, but the HP won't retain user ID and password information. I have tried everything.

I am a very active online user. During the course of a day, I log on to as many as eight Web sites several times each as part of my business. Having to type the user ID and password each time is more than annoying. I have uninstalled and reinstalled Microsoft Internet Explorer 6 several times trying to restore the Auto Complete feature. Alas, what is an active user to do with passwords?

A number of strategies can aid and comfort those of us whose daily chores require accessing multiple password-protected Web sites. I'm inclined to tout software known as Bookmark Buddy for your particular situation.

But first we need to make sure your computer isn't set to make your life more difficult by restricting both the browser's Auto Complete tool and the cookie files that facilitate most sites with a user name and password.

Auto Complete watches one's keystrokes and finishes frequently used phrases after just a couple of letters are entered. It also keeps track of passwords linked to user names. It is activated in Internet Explorer by clicking on Tools and Internet Options and then opening the Content tab.

Also in the mix is a feature that lets one create a special Address Book entry filled with personal information that can quickly be entered in Web forms.

So click on the Auto Complete tools and check the boxes to remember user names and passwords.

Next you need to open up your computer to the cookie files that many Web sites place on customers' hard drives containing user ID and password data for automatic logon. Use the same Tools/Internet Options display as you did for Auto Complete, but select the Privacy tab this time. Use the sliding scale to set your privacy settings a tick or two below the most restrictive setting, which bans all cookies.

A happier way around this issue is to use Bookmark Buddy, a program that not only keeps favorite Web sites close at hand but also allows a user to arrange for automatic logon no matter how restrictive the Privacy and Auto Complete settings.

You can investigate this $29.95 Web utility at Bookmark Buddy's site (www.urlorg.com/buy.shtml) and download it for a 30-day free evaluation period.

The Chicago Tribune is a Tribune Publishing newspaper. James Coates can be contacted via e-mail at jcoates@ tribune.com.

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