Herding Those Pesky Passwords

Rick Wisser & Gail Menius //

Frequently we get asked about where to store passwords.  Should they be stored in a word/excel /txt file on your computer? Maybe, written down in a secret little book? The best one: Just to use the same password for everything??? Nooooo…..

We could go into the anatomy of a password but Gail has a blog post that already covers the basics, you can find it here.

Well today we will answer those questions. With password management there are a lot of software solutions out there, such as KeePass, LastPass, and Dashlane, as well as others.

The way a password manager works is that once you have installed and created an account/database to hold your password information in. It is then encrypted and only able to be decrypted with a “master password”. Essentially this is the only password that you would have to remember so make it a long (16 characters or more) password. Try a phrase like “beauwillcrackthisifitisshort” (because Beau is awesome!) or if you would like to add a little pizzazz try “@Derekenjoyspasswordhashes$” again it should be the only password that you need to remember so make it easy to recall and long. Also if you lose or forget the “master password” you will probably not be able to recover it since a good password manager will not allow you to recover the “master password”.

With in the password manager you can put information such as: URL, username, password, and description.  You can also have the password manager create a password for you with a specified length.

(Who doesn’t like Pinterest ☺)

KeePass Screenshot to Generate New Password for You

KeePass Options to Create a Password for You

With KeePass for instance you can specify which character sets you would like to include or exclude as well as length.

The final thing I would like to add is with password managers, many times you will only ever see the password when you create/generate it. For instance I use my shortcut keys to copy the passwords to put into the password field I never see the password. Others will give you a button on the website to do essentially the same.

So grab a password manager and start managing your passwords today!!! Here is a link to pcmag.com best for 2016 password managers: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2407168,00.asp

Gail and I put together this short fun video on installing Lastpass…. Enjoy!