If you’re like most people, you have probably have lots and lots of accounts on social media, online banking, and other websites. And if you’re also like other people, you tend to re-use passwords from site to site – I’m guilty of it myself as well. You may even write them down on a little sticky note next to your workstation, or hide it under it your keyboard. While all of these password management tactics get the job done, they’re generally a horrible idea. Here’s how you keep track of your passwords, and use stronger passwords.
The solution to using stronger and more unique passwords is KeePass. KeePass is an excellent free, open source, light weight program that you can use to securely store existing passwords, and generate complex passwords. KeePass currently runs on Microsoft Windows, Macintosh, Linux, iPad & iPhone, BlackBerry, and Palm OS devices. Pretty sweet right?
Using KeePass is easy, quick, and effective. The first time you run the program you’ll be prompted to create a kdbx file, which is just an encrypted flat file on your machine that will store all of the other password. To access this password storage area, you’ll need to enter a password, which you configure from the start.
Once you’re actually inside of the program you can then create new password entries, modify existing entries, group entries logically by purpose ( banking, school, social media, etc. ) and even create completely different passwords. For instance, here’s a list of some websites that I use :
Besides being a way to keep track of your usernames and passwords for all of your different websites, KeePass also has an excellent utility built-in where you can generate secure and complex passwords. For instance, my password for my email account is 32 characters long, is composed of mixed upper & lower characters, and has random character sets.
Because it looks something like this - RIl8YzztdMmTwPoa0k2WN1zyeVYsigY5 – it would be incredibly difficult for me to remember it. But thanks to KeePass, I can hide that password behind a more common password and make sure that my online experience is as secure as possible. Especially in terms of security, you can see the benefit of having a complex password, versus using a password on this list.
So now that you know a little bit more about password management, what do you think about it? Are you going to be cleaning those sticky notes off your desk?