So you’ve found a new website, GTD app, or even another social network to add to your favorite online hangouts. Then you hit a snag: You have to go through the signup process. While you’ve been spoiled by your browser’s autofill function, these websites have a very new, very tempting option to the manual signup process: Facebook, Google+, or Twitter OAuth authentication.
What’s that, you say? Oh, it’s that one-click process where you can sign up with any of these accounts.
No need to manually type all the details?! Awesomesauce!
And then you hit a snag: You have to login to this new account, but you don’t have, or can’t access your Facebook, Google+ or Twitter account through that device.
Maybe you’re on a holiday break and you’re using your accounts through your sister’s laptop. Or you bought a new device and you haven’t set up your LastPass or password management system on it yet.
Either way, you’re probably resigned to not being able to access your new accounts because you need access to your Facebook, G+ or Twitter account first.
So, if you’re like me, who doesn’t really think twice about using social media authentication to set up new accounts, here are some tips to manage a social media-authenticated account better:
Upon signup, set your username. Accounts like Spotify, Scribd, and most other websites will allow you to set a username or an email to get through your account without Facebook or social network authentication. Remember to set the username right after you’ve created the account. Or, you set a reminder to do so the next time you login, or over the weekend.
Don’t forget to set your email, new password, and add a recovery email to the account. The authentication is engineered to be encrypted, that you don’t need a password to log in, if you login through the authenticating account. However, what if you found yourself in a situation where that account cannot be accessed temporarily? This is why you have to go through all the hoops of setting these details we specified. It may cost you 10 to 15 minutes more, but you can always do this on the weekend.
If you don’t want your friends to be barraged with the playlists you’re creating, the books you’re reading, or just about whatever content you’re consuming or sharing on the other website, disconnect your social media account. The purpose of the one-click social media authentication was to make signup a breeze. If you value your privacy, it may be a good idea to keep your social media account separate. Don’t worry, more often than not, your new account is alive, existent, and as long as you’ve set your other login information, you’re good to go.