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No more excuses! Protect your passwords on your computer with strong encryption.

More and more, we hear talks about hackers entering personal accounts on systems such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and many others. There are many reasons why someone's account will be hacked. One of them is the lack of imagination for their password. Plus, some people use the same password for all of their accounts.

So, if you do it right, you will end up with many passwords. On my end, I have one password per account and that means about 400 passwords... That's totally unmanageable in a fairly standard human brain. For this reason, you end up writing down all your passwords on your computer and hope no one finds them.

KeePass login screen. To access your encrypted passwords.In most cases, this is okay, at least if you assume that your computer is safe. Right. People browsing all the time will quite often receive the visit of unwanted worms and viruses through their browser and via emails. Their Internet connection is otherwise quite likely very safe (the ISP take care of that part and forbids external connections.) Also, many people use a laptop. If you are one of them and you forget your laptop or worse get it stolen with all your passwords on it. Hmmm...

So that means your passwords are not exactly safe if you simply save them in a clear text file on your computer. You could scatter them all over your hard drive, making it very difficult to find for yourself...

The other way is to use a tool such as KeePass1 or KeePassX2. This tool is used to save your passwords in a database using strong encryption. This means your passwords will be on your computer, but no one without the master password (and that's the one you want to remember by heart) will be able to crack your passwords, especially if your passwords aren't simply words in any language or dates.

Not only will KeePass keep your passwords secure on your computer, it will also let you know how secure those passwords are. That is, how difficult it is for a hacker to find the password. It uses an algorithm that determines the number of bits that are considered random. A good number is 256 and over since in general it would take over 1 week to crack such a password with state of the art computers and the right algorithm. In other words, most hackers will generally skip such accounts.

Now, it is well known that computer hardware breaks once in a while. If you lose your hard drive and all your password were only on that one computer, you're going to be out of luck. Yes. You can request to change your password, but if you have hundred of accounts, it's going to take you forever. So,  I advise that you look into making copies of the KeePass database. This is a small file and the data inside that file is encrypted so you can copy it anywhere you want, pretty much, it will remain safe. One possible location are other computers. I'm in IT so I have access to 6 or 7 computers just at my place. Having copies on a few of them assures me that I will always have access to most of my passwords. However, if the house catch on fire (not what I am planning, but accidents happen) then I'd still lose all those passwords. Another way is to place your KeePass file on a Cloud Drive such as Dropbox. As I just mentioned, this is safe since the file is encrypted. So even though this cloud drive is not under your direct control, the file will be just fine.

Whenever you start KeePass, it will automatically load the last or default password file for you. If you don't remember where you saved that file, use the Database » Save database as ... menu option. This should open with the folder where you current file is located. The file should have extension .kdbx.

Alexis Wilke
Made to  Order Software

Note: KeePass and KeePassX are free software and you can download them from and other locations.

  • 1. For Microsoft Windows only.
  • 2. For Microsoft Windows, Mac OS/X, Linux


Microsoft Windows Only?!

Where is the Linux version?! cool

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