How to be a Password Ninja on a Mac, Windows or Linux

You’ve heard about it, read about it but very few manage to have complex passwords for all your services – Email, Facebook, Twitter, et al. The consensus to have a safer online experience and hopefully, prevent hackers, crackers and script kiddies from gaining access to your accounts is to have a complex password – UPPERCASE + lowercase + numbers + special characters – and a unique different one for each of your accounts.

Unfortunately, that’s not an easy task at all. Nonetheless, there are solutions that can help you become a Password Ninja with few, easy to remember steps. I’ve had multiple passwords – complex ones at that for quite sometime – and I don’t need to remember any of them.

Keepass

Keepass is a FREE and Open Source Password Manager which works on Windows, Mac or Linux. It is even portable enough for you to carry around on a pen-drive or a flash-drive.

The best thing about it is that the File format is the same on all Operating System and thus can be accessed and used by multiple OS – Win, Mac or Linux.

Here is a typical setup you can follow to sync across platforms/computers:

  1. Save your Keepass file in your Dropbox folder.
  2. Access it from Home, Office or anywhere you’ve access to a computer. That’s pretty much it.

More about Keepass

KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can have your Password File locked with one master key or a key file. So you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the Password file. The File is encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).

You may read through the features of Keepass to familiarize with what you can do with it. For starters, here are few simple steps to speed-up with Keepass and become proficient with the art of Password Management.

  • Start simple, keep it simple. Begin by entering your account credentials for Emails, Facebook, Twitter and others. Keepass even has a good Password generator which you can use while creating new ones.
  • You don’t really need to know where or which group you saved your details, just hit “Search” and then do a “Copy” (Ctrl + c or CMD + c) to copy the password. Paste it where it should go.
  • Learn to navigate (Tab) through the columns (sections). Keep the interface simple – you should be good with just need the Groups and the Entries. I don’t really feel the need to show the Toolbars, neither the Entry Details nor the Statusbar.

You can do lot more with Keepass but that should get you started and have different passwords for all your online services, complex ones at that.

Downloads

Disclaimer:

Last year, I migrated to 1Password after using Keepass for about 5 years. I do continue to go back to it to check on old entries and always have a copy running in my computer. The limitation arises due to its lack of a good iOS support (iPad, iPhone). I need a password Manager that seamlessly manages across Mac Desktop and iOS Devices.

However, I continue to suggest Keepass (KeepassX for Mac/Linux) to anyone asking for a good Password Manager.