Solution for more secure password management

Solution for more secure password management

Sooner or later we all come across the same problem: another account? That means another password!

After a couple of months/years of active Internet use, we have more accounts and passwords than we care to remember. There are several traps we could easily fall into: Using passwords that are easy to remember and using the same password over and over again. So… what exactly is the problem with that? And is there a solution to this problem?

The problem with passwords that are easy to remember

… is that they are also easy to guess and/or easy to hack (brute-force, dictionary, etc…). The solution seems simple to some: search the Internet to find tips on how to create passwords which are easy to remember, but difficult to hack. Some of these tips include:

Invent Strong PasswordMake a long password. “johndoe01011954” is a long one, but not a good one: you have used your name + birthday. DON’T DO IT

Make a password of a long sentence that you could easily remember by taking the first letter of each word: Example by taking previous sentence: mapoalstycerbtfloew. Looks like a great password already! The problem with this, is the fact that it isn’t complex enough. It only consists of alphabetical characters. That means it’s too easy for a script to hack the password by brute-force. You need to include captical letters, numbers and extra characters like #,;/?=~” etc…

Example of a great password: #rS@{o12°àAi<´e

But let’s be reasonable… that’s a nightmare to remember, right?

The problem with passwords that are too complex

As stated: it’s a nightmare to remember only ONE of those monster-passwords, let alone a couple of hundreds of them. The trap I used to fall into, was to use a password that was very complex (good work!) BUT I used it over and over again, for every single account I created. That’s a huge security risk!

Imagine that some kind of script/bot/hacker could hack/retrieve/obtain my password, or I was forced to reveal it in some kind of scenario? That means that every single service, program, computer I use, would be compromised. The hacker could login to my wordpress accounts, my personal computer, even my paypal and trading accounts! That’s a terrifying insight!

The solution

Keepass logoDownload KeePass. The idea behind it, is that you only need to remember one super strong password. This will be the password that locks your “safe”. In the safe, all your other, super difficult, auto generated passwords are stored, so you don’t need to remember them.

Auto generated? What do you mean?

One of the great features of KeePass, is the ability to generate complex random passwords, so you don’t have to.

Keepass generator

This has a huge benefit: you only need to remember one password, yet you can have an unlimited amount of accounts, all with different, very complex passwords, so it’s a very safe system.

change-all-the-passwords-memeMasterplan for safer passwords

  1. Download and install KeePass
  2. Import all your Firefox/Thunderbird/… passwords into KeePass and remove them from Firefox
  3. Change all your existing, easy to guess passwords to random/complex KeePass passwords
  4. Every new account you create, you’ll use KeePass to generate and store your passwords

Bonus

Download KeeFox, a plugin to use KeePass as firefox password manager. With this, you can also use KeePass to remember thunderbird passwords! Remove all previous “saved” passwords from your firefox/thunderbird system because they can be made visible by any unauthorized person that happens to use your computer.

Pro tip: Store your password safe on dropbox, and you’ll always have all your passwords ready at hand if you need them!

Good luck with this, I’m sure you’ll never want to miss this neat little tool again!

 

Laurens (7 Posts)

Laurens Vercaigne is an IT-consultant, web developer, programmer and copywriter with profound expertise of both Linux and Windows environments. He has experience in developing and optimizing trading scripts and robots for forex- and stockmarkets. There is also a lot of fun to be had with automating as much as possible, or making tasks and processes more efficient, practical of just smart. After all, computers are here to make our lives easier, aren't they?


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