Today everything happens on the Internet. It's where you get the news, see the movies that you like, listen to your favorite music, connect with your friends and family; it's like more of our lives are taking place on the Web than in that strange place called reality. Unfortunately, almost every online service currently in existence requires you to have an account, and that means that you need to remember a lot of log-in information. Furthermore, every security-related article you're ever going to read (including mine) will tell you not to use the same password for different accounts and not to write down your passwords, so keeping track of all your credentials can be a real problem.
If you consider all that, it shouldn't really come as a big surprise that many people store passwords in their email accounts in order to always have them at hand. Unfortunately, hackers know that too, and if they ever get a hold of your email address, they will most likely compromise any other account that you've saved in your email. No, they don't need to start sorting through all your emails in order to get to the "good" stuff, they can simply use algorithms that scan your entire inbox and find out in seconds if you have any passwords just laying around. Fortunately, there's a service called Dashlane which allows you to do the same thing, so that you can make sure that there are no passwords to scavenge in your Inbox.
Using this service is actually pretty easy and perfectly secure. All you have to do is go to the Dashlane Inbox Scan webpage, press the Scan my Inbox button (it's big and red, so you can't miss it), then choose the email service that you're using and log into your account. In order for the scan to work, Dashlane will need a few privileges on your email account such as the ability to manage your emails or work offline, so click on the Allow button to let it do its thing. After that, you will be taken to a new page where you will see the scanning progress, and once it's completed, the results will be automatically shown. Your goal is to obtain the same result as the one in the picture to the right.
The cool thing is that in case you have some stored passwords, the results page will not actually show them, but instead you will see a bubble that contains the domain associated with the password as well as the date when the email was created. As you will probably notice, bubbles come in different sizes which represent the severity of the problems caused by losing that specific account. Furthermore, there's also a color code in which red bubbles represents passwords that can be instantly found, while blue / white ones stand for those that are not available at the first glance.
Another big advantage is that Dashlane's scanning service doesn't just look for passwords, but also detects and alerts you about other, potentially dangerous private information such as telephone numbers, addresses, etc. Dashlane Inbox Scan only works with Google, Yahoo, AOL and Hotmail email accounts, so if you're signed up with a different service, you won't be able to use it.
Since I don't like writing about problems without offering at least an attempt for a solution, I'm going to tell you how I manage my passwords issue. Since I don't like using password managers (there's a saying about putting all your eggs in the same basket), and storing them directly in my email isn't the brightest idea, I use a different technique. I include the passwords in my emails, but hide them in the text so that only I know how to find them. Let's say that my password was password, I would write an email like this: "Passed by your place today. At seven you weren't home. Seems that you were busy. Somebody else must have taken you out. Whatever! On the plus side I saw a pretty girl. Right on cue. Door closes, window opens." (P.S.: but seriously, never use the word "password" as your actual password.)
Now that you know how to scan your email account for security-breaching passwords, you might also to find out how to send self-destructing mails from your Gmail address or learn about E-mail etiquette.