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When you spend more time on digital world than the world outside, the one aspect that one can never ignore or avoid under any circumstances is Security. No matter how much we discuss or talk about it, it is never an over-rated topic. In fact, some people may even argue that it is still not being taken as seriously as it should.
A secure key (Password) for the website is the only thing that stands between your information and the intruder. You create different keys for all different kinds of websites you use, such as, Social Networking (Facebook, Twitter, Google+ …), E-Commerce (eBay, Amazon …), your email accounts with multiple providers, not to forget the multiple accounts with same providers, your personal websites login if you have any, and so on. For security reasons, it is always recommended to have a unique password for all these accounts. I promise that if you ever make a list of the websites and their respective passwords, you will be surprised with the list. Saving your passwords on browser is as good as writing them on a piece of paper and keeping it in a safe drawer but without any secure lock.
And that is where KeePass comes in and solves the problem. It is one easy to use light weight password storage manager for Windows. It doesn’t matter if you are an IT professional or just a casual internet user, it has a very easy to use interface. It takes no time to understand its features, one look at it and you are good to go. it uses AES and Twofish encryption algorithms which are highly secure. And Keepass is an open source software, and hence, Free.
You can start by visiting KeePass’ Official website. Once you are in the Downloads section ( Under “Getting KeePass” category) of the website, there is a Classic Edition and a Professional Edition. Download the Professional Edition, you can choose the first option (from the options under Professional Edition) if you plan to use KeePass only at your home or work. If you travel a lot and require the application everywhere, you can select the Portable version, which runs the software without installation and you can carry it in your USB stick or portable hard disk.
Considering you are going with the Installation file right now. During installation, select “Full Installation” option. It also requires .Net framework to be installed on the machine, if it’s not present Keepass will re-direct you to Microsoft site to do so. After completing the installation, open the application, and create a New Database (new file). You can choose any suitable name for your database, you can even change it later. When trying to save the Database, KeePass will ask you to create a master key (Composite Master key) for all your passwords stored within. There are 3 ways to do so; Create a normal password, Use a separate file as a password, Use Windows user account. You can proceed by entering a normal password, but choose something that you can easily remember. As this is the password that will allow you access to all other password which you can’t remember.
Once done, now enter the Database name again, and add a small description if you want to. And leave the other options as it is. When you click OK, you will see the screen as one shown below.
On the left side, you can create various groups. On highlighting a Group on the left, on the Right you will see the list of passwords you have saved within that group. On the Left, you can simply right click to Add/Edit/Delete Group and Similarly on Right section, Right click will give options to Add/Edit/Delete your password entries.
To create a password entry, right click on the right side for the respective group and select “Add Entry”. Enter Website name in “Title”, your Username and Password in the following fields, the URL for the site if you want to, you can add some notes if you want or leave it blank. If the website follows a 30/60/90 days policy for password change, you can add a reminder by ticking the “Expires” option, at the bottom of the dialog box just above ”Tools” button and select the date. That’s it, click OK and you are done. Also, it has a password generator option if you want a really strong password.
The database is also portable; you can carry it in your USB stick or even access the same on your Phone or tablet. On the KeePass download page you will also find the list of applications for iOS, Android, Windows Phone 7, Blackberry and Blackberry 10, Palm OS, J2ME phone, Mac OS X and Linux. After installing the application, simply copy paste the database from your desktop to the app and it’s done. You can also import/export the list in Txt, Html, CSV and XML format. KeePass also allows the option to install plugins but do not install any unless you are extremely sure of what you are doing.
KeePass is an application you will definitely use a lot and most likely recommend to your friends too. Hope you found the information you were looking for. Keep visiting.
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Feature Image courtesy: Christopher Bolin/via Wikimedia Commons