In a survey blogged by Kevin Haley, a Symantec employee, 263 out of 400 respondents commit their passwords to their memory. This is a whopping 59 percent of the 80 percent who said that they maintained more than six password-protected accounts on the Internet. There are 33 percent who use password management programs.
Any average password user has probably tried their middle name, pet’s name, birth date and any other variations of these as their password. Be warned, the Internet is peppered with security risks and flaws and the security measures that almost every tech-savvy user advises are not just there to scare you. It doesn’t matter if you have an IQ that puts Einstein’s to shame, simply remembering those passwords is not going to make you less prone to a hacker assault.
Keepass 2.10 is a free password management program that lets you securely keep track of your password. Installation of this program will only take an average of 45 seconds, but this is optional. Keepass can run from any directory in your computer and USB. Unlike other programs, this will not leave any trace in the registry. It also offers multi-platform support for Linux, Windows, and Linux, to OS X, iPhone, PalmOS, BlackBerry, Android, and J2ME devices.
Although this is not the best there is at password management, for a free program, it does its job effectively. To start, you have to make a new database (Keepass automatically saves it as a .kdbx file, but you can rename it if you don’t want the extension) and set a composite master key. It offers two ways of creating a master key: one with a keyfile and one without the keyfile. It has its own keyfile maker but you can use almost any file you have. You just have to be sure that your keyfile doesn’t get altered or you won’t have access to your database even if you enter the right password. Using both, password and keyfile, is highly recommended since it heightens the security for your database.
With your own database created, you can categorize your account according to your needs. Though it has the default categories, you can start a new group of your own and add an entry. Entries will have four fields to fill: title, username, password and URL. Keepass has its own password generator and it will automatically generate one for you when you add a new entry. You can choose to generate a new one using your own conditions by clicking the generate password button on the right side of the second password field. It also has a fifth field for comments or notes about the account you are creating.
Organizing your passwords into categories, can take some time but it’s all worth it. It may take you a few minutes or a few hours, but having the assurance that your passwords are secure will make you sleep better at night. It also offers to keep your passwords hidden from curious people hovering over your shoulder. Performing the copy function also copies it to the clipboard for twelve seconds, an assurance that your pass word will not be left for someone else to paste in another site or program. To automatically enter your user name and password to your site you can perform Ctrl + Alt +A. OR you can just drag each item to the fields.
A certified OSI (Open Source Initiative) software, there are lots of plug-ins that other software developers have made available to augment the program’s limitations. A favorite is the KPEntry Templates which enables the user to make templates for filling-out web forms. Added security is also offered by the plug-in Twofish Cipher.
It’s free and it’s secure. It’s doesn’t hog disk space and can even run on USB. You will now have other things to occupy your mind with, like remembering the details you gave for this or that account. But wait, Keepass covers that, too.