How To Set Up a Password Manager and Sync Your Passwords With Your Mobile Devices
One thing the Internet is still lacking is a centralized login or passport system where we can login and be authenticated online just once and that one account or passport will be accepted credentials to sign up for services, memberships etc anywhere on the Internet. Until this happens, every time we want to sign up for something on the Internet, we have to supply yet another username and password combination.
Many of us have accumulated dozens of these username / passwords making it simply impossible to keep track of in our heads. This article will show you how to securely setup a password manager and access your password list on your phone or mobile device where you need it most.
While you could enter your passwords in an Excel file and apply a master password to the file, this is not a very secure technique. You are far better off using a restricted Password Manager which uses industry standard encryption technology.
One of the most popular password managers around is KeePass. This is a free Open Source program and they have builds for Windows, Mac OSX, and Linux. There are also ports available for iPad, iPhone, Android Device and Windows Phone 7. Your database files are stored with very strong encryption (256 bit Advanced Encryption Standard (AES / Rijndael)).
Setting Up KeePass on Your Desktop
1. To make your password list accessible on your mobile device, you will need to have a sync service like Dropbox setup on your desktop computer and mobile device. Sitting at your desktop computer, sign up, download and setup your sync service like Dropbox. Set up the sync service app on your mobile device as well.
2. Do a Google search for KeePass ( http://keepass.info/ ) and download and install KeePass on your desktop computer. Be sure to download the latest version (V2 at the time of this writing) and appropriate build for your operating system.
3. At first start up, you will need to create a new database. Create this database within your Dropbox or sync folder so that it will be synced to your mobile devices. Also, use a strong master password that is a minimum of 8 characters and contains upper and lower case characters with numbers and special characters.
4. You can now define your groups and account username / password entries.
Setting Up KeePass on Your Mobile Device
1. On your mobile device, you will first need to install the correct KeePass App for your device.
– Ipad or iPhone users : Go to the "Apple Store" and install MiniKeePass.
– Android Device users : Go to "Play Store" and install KeepassDroid.
2. Open your Dropbox folder on you mobile device. Browse to your database file (something.kdbx) and open it. It should prompt you to open it with Minikeepass or KeepassDroid depending on which App you installed.
3. Enter your Keepass master password and you should be able to access your password list.
Do not Want To Have Your Password Database Stored On-line?
KeePass stores your password database on your computer in a fully encrypted state. Even if you lost your computer, your password list is protected through very strong encryption. Neverheless, if you are not comfortable having your password list stored online or not even on your computer, KeePass also has a portable version that you can install on a USB flash drive.
The portable version is a different download from the desktop version. You simply download it directly to a USB flash drive that you carry with you. It runs completely from the flash drive. When you unplug it from the computer, the program and your database is completely removed from the computer. There is no trace left on the computer.