After signing up for InfoBarrel, you might decide you want to change your username or password. It's possible, but not quite as simple as might be expected.
Normally, websites allow you to change your personal information - including username and password - somewhere in the account settings. If you're expecting to be able to do this at InfoBarrel, the first place you'd probably look is the My Account page.
However, the My Account page actually doesn't give you the option to change your password or username, as I discovered when I tried to do so. You can change your real name, but not your username, which is displayed but not hyperlinked. Your password never even shows up on the My Account page.
How to Change Your Username on InfoBarrel
I emailed Support using the Contact Us link in the menubar that appears on all pages and asked them to change my username for me. Within 24 hours, Kevin had responded. He said that he could do it for me, but I'd need to send him my password so he could verify my account.
Why Emailing Your Password Isn't Smart
Emailing your password to someone is usually a really bad idea. Obviously, I don't care if Kevin has my password (what's he going to do, post articles under my name? :) ) but email is not a secure method of communication. It could be intercepted, and someone else would then have my password. This is not such a big deal for a site like InfoBarrel, but I use the same password for several different sites. I wasn't comfortable sharing my password through email, because anyone who gained access to it would then have the password that I use for several different sites.
How to Change Your Password on InfoBarrel
Since I didn't want to email my existing password, I decided to change my password to a temporary one, email that one to Kevin, and then change it back after he'd updated my username for me.
Unfortunately, there's no way to change your InfoBarrel password yourself. At first, I couldn't believe this was the case, as I've never come across a website that didn't allow you to change your own password.
I headed over to the FAQ and How Does This Work? sections. Fortunately, someone had asked the question, "How do I change my password?" so I was able to avoid wasting any more time. InfoBarrel Admin responded to the poster that they'd need to email Support.
No Other Choice
I realized I had a bit of a dilemma. I didn't want to email my existing password, but in order to change my password to one that I was comfortable emailing, I'd need to...yup, email Support my password.
This was a bit of a wake-up call. After all, I know perfectly well that it's never wise to use the same password for multiple websites. But although this sounds good in theory, in practice if we used a different password every time we needed to log in somewhere, we'd have dozens - maybe even hundreds - of unique number-letter combinations to remember.
So, like many people, I use a compromise. I have a high-level password that I keep in my head and use only for banking and other financial things. I never write this down. I never share it. I never use it for casual memberships.
Then I have a mid-level password that I use for websites like InfoBarrel. I'd prefer that people don't know what it is, but if it were hacked I wouldn't be at risk for identity theft or financial loss. Still, being forced to share this password (and compromise its security) made me realize I'd been a bit silly to use the same password for so many different websites.
How to Ensure You Have Unique Passwords for Every Login
There's a great little application I used to use, called RoboForm. It automatically creates unique passwords and saves them for you. You need a master password to log in and see your password database, so there's no chance someone could easily stumble across your passwords. I don't remember why I stopped using it - maybe my trial version expired and I forgot to buy it. Anyway, I'm going to check it out again. It's a good solution for people like me who need to log into several different sites on a daily basis. If this describes you too, you might like to give it a try. You can download RoboForm's trial version first and then decide if you like it enough to buy it.
Another solution is to use an algorithm for your passwords. You could have a "base password" that you add certain letters or numbers to, depending on the site. For example, say my base password were "Blu35k1e". If I were signing up for InfoBarrel, I'd add IB to the base password, making it IBBlu35k1e. Or, if I wanted to make it a bit harder, I might add IB at the 2nd character, making BlIBu35k1e. If I then signed up for RoboForm, I'd add RF to the base password, making BlRFu35k1e.
If all you want to do is change your InfoBarrel username and password, just email Support. Hopefully, one day InfoBarrel will offer a more convenient and secure method of updating this personal information. Until then, take the steps I've outlined above to protect yourself.