I’m having trouble keeping track of all my online passwords. Being the good little net / social media junkie that I am, I tend to sign up for every demo or beta that there is…just to try them out.
Here’s the problem: they all want a password. I’m lazy. I give them all the same, disposable password, thinking “hey, if it’s compromised, no worries, it’s not the one I use for my banking..etc”. Now that’s not very secure. I’ve since changed my ways. I have hundreds of passwords.
For a long time now, I’ve been using Password Safe on my home computers, an open source password ‘vault’ application that securely encrypts your login id, password and other attributes or notes you want to keep about sites you log into regularly. I keep the data file on a server, and Password Safe running on those computers loads the data over the network.
But lately I’ve been using a Flash Drive to keep my documents and applications handy as I move from computer to computer to work computer. I’ve also installed a portable application manager / system called PortableApps. Unfortunately Password Safe doesn’t have a PortableApps version.
So now I’m testing KeePass — the newer application on the block. It has quickly garnered a large and vocal following, and for good reason. Here’s the features list:
- Strong Security
- Multiple User Keys
- Portable and No Installation Required
- Export To TXT, HTML, XML and CSV Files
- Import From Many File Formats
- Easy Database Transfer
- Support of Password Groups
- Time Fields and Entry Attachments
- Auto-Type, Global Auto-Type Hot Key and Drag&amp;Drop
- Intuitive and Secure Windows Clipboard Handling
- Searching and Sorting
- Multi-Language Support
- Strong Random Password Generator
- Plugin Architecture
One of the cooler features is (with a plugin) the ability to import Password Safe data, so I can now carry my hundreds of passwords with me, as I need them.
Eventually I’ll probably install KeePass on my home computers, point them to the single data file on my server, and replace Password Safe.
Another option, one that I’m just starting to explore, is online password vaults. I’ve recently set up a PassPack account, but am having issues with the CSV import of my existing password file.
The concept looks cool, seems secure, but I’m in no hurry to convert yet. PassKey is working for me right now.
Now here’s a question, what do you (do you?) use to keep your passwords safe yet convenient? Online? Offline? Paper??