Bank only and use security!
by blaineclrk - 12/9/11 10:46 PM
Check with your bank and set up every account you possibly can through them and DO NOT direct-pay ANY account. Any accounts you can't arrange through the bank will have to stay on snail mail. Don't direct-pay even non changing accounts. Reason? My son had direct pay for his cable and some other accounts. He moved, dropped several accounts including the cable service (so he thought) but kept the bank because there was a branch near where he moved. The cable service auto-withdrew three months worth of charges before he got settled into his new home and caught the bank action. If your bank doesn't offer this service, then either look for another bank or an online service that you've carefully checked for security, their insurance and termination agreements. So, If they fail to honor your request to terminate an auto pay within an acceptable time frame, say 72 hours or less, they risk getting canceled as well and they pay any penalties or overdrafts not due to your fault.
Next is security. BIG time! I use LastPass which is an add-on for the IE and Firefox browsers that handle your account passwords, user names, login email addresses, security question answers and you can add more details in the notes sections. You can set up several LastPass accounts through this one add-on, one for you, one for your spouse and for each member of your family. That's just one master password for LastPass for each of you to remember, and do not make them easy ones, even if you each have to write them down, which you should anyway. LastPass also generates random passwords. One more note about passwords and secure questions and the notes sections of LastPass; I'll use a question such as "Who was your first grade teacher?" and enter another random password for the answer and save the info in the notes. A hacker is going to have to take a lot of time and put in a lot of effort to crack several randomly generated answers, especially if you set the length of the answers/passwords to 20 random characters or more! See? You can apply several actual passwords to some accounts this way. LastPass also uses encryption within your browser add-on and to synchronize your browser add-on with the LastPass online data storage. Your info is secure! And that brings up another great thing about LastPass. If you are away from home and any of your computers and need to access any of your stored accounts, you can log onto the lastpass.com site from anywhere and open your account and copy and paste the info you need into the fields of wherever you need to log on to.
LastPass isn't perfect, it won't handle flash style login forms and a few very complicated or incorrectly labeled or coded Script forms. For these you'll have to manually open and save the account info and copy and paste as I described above. You'll also have to manually copy and paste the info from LastPass into the forms when you return to log on. You also need to remember to obey LastPass when it prompts you to save a site, and you can categorize and access each of your log-on sites just like bookmarks.
Oh, and there's a LastPass user's forum for questions and support as well as the premium (paid) version professional help. No, I'm not a LastPass business partner or anything like that, I just like LastPass that much! Besides, the basic package is free, though there is premium. I use the free features.