Monday, December 3, 2012
Too Many Passwords to Keep Up With? Use a Password Manager
As a crime analyst, I am often having to log in to various databases or websites as I search for information. This has lead to me ending up with around a hundred or so different accounts or log in's.
What makes it even worse is that in order to comply with many agency's security policies, users are forced to regularly change their passwords. Having a bunch of different username and passwords to keep up with can often lead to some poor security practices.
For some people, the way they deal with having many log in's is to reuse username and passwords. This is a really bad idea. Let me say that again, password reuse is a really bad idea.
If one account gets compromised, then an enterprising hacker will try your credentials on other popular services. Quite often, a hacked username and password on an unimportant account will work on one that is a lot more important to you if you've reused your passwords.
The way around password reuse is to use a password manager to keep up with all your account information. This allows you to safely store all these credentials without compromising security. Good password managers will use some pretty serious encryption technology to keep your password and usernames safe as well as include a feature to generate really secure random passwords.
One of my favorite password managers is KeePass. In addition to some really good encryption technology and a password generator, it also offers auto-type and other features to make logging into accounts a whole lot easier.
Another great feature is that KeePass can be run from a USB drive if you don't want to install the application to your computer, or you need to use it on multiple computers. Best of all, KeePass is free, open source software. You can find out more about KeePass here: http://keepass.info
How are you keeping up with multiple passwords safely?