Most people's opinions on anonymity are fairly polarized: either they love it, or despise it. And not so surprisingly, it's pretty easy to guess which group has not the most to hide, but the most desire to find out what others have to hide. And as anyone who reads here should know, I value protection of privacy greatly, even if I don't take advantage of it regularly for the sake of convenience.
The truth is, there is much more out there watching us than conspirators or the government. Every single thing you do on a computer is tracked and sold to marketing companies. Every time you turn your phone on, it leaves a digital paper trail. Your bank, your insurance company, your employer, your mortgage company, even your regular shopping trips, all track what you do.
So how do you balance convenience with security? Do you really want corporations, banks, and politicians knowing everything you do? Well, up front we don't. But our actions say otherwise. Privacy, as we know it, is dead.
For someone who's been using the internet almost since its inception, I've collected quite a large assortment of usernames and passwords over the years. I think something on the order of 150+ of them, not including the ones that have gone defunct, or actual local network passwords.
How does a professional geek handle hundreds of passwords? Here's a quick primer on how I do it, with a few suggestions on general password security, too. I've used two programs in the last year to get a handle on my password/username combos; LastPass and KeePass. One is a web-run business; the other is a free, open-source program. I'll explain a bit about each one, and how I decided to use them.
So the New York Times revealed that the U.S. Government's NSA program actually has computers actively cracking online encryption now. And from the sound of it, they've pretty much got it down... all the more reason to encrypt your emails! So far, the GPG Encryption standard has never been cracked!