How to store your passwords safely & securily

Having passwords lying all over place is most likely pretty common for many people. I’m somewhat ok with that when it’s on your home computer (not good there either, I know) but this is especially scary if you have a laptop or similar.

The worst case scenario for laptop owners: you store all your paypal, all your email and all your other important passwords and urls in a file. Thief gets your laptop, all your info and you are in trouble.

Luckily, you can store your stuff heavily encrypted so at least it makes the job nastier.

Some days ago I looked into password systems and ened up with the following 2 products:

My end conclusion is that those who want to use local system, KeePass works wonders. For those who prefer bit more mobile option, LastPass should be fine. Although, this is after looking both products for like 15 minutes, so you might want to dig deeper. They both seem to be popular if you tweet about em.

I picked KeePass since I don’t really need/want those other things and I’m bit paranoid about using online systems for password stuff, although LastPass is hugely popular and seems to be pretty secure.

I’m testing KeePass and I let you decide what suits you.

Now, thanks to this system, I can store all my secret stuff behind a secure door where nobody can access (at least not very easily).

The only thing that really bother me is “where to store the master password”. I might write it in a note, store it in some secret place… but what if my daughter finds it and hides it somewhere else (if she doesn’t hide under the carpet like she usually does, I’d be in trouble). Or what if dogs eat my note. I’ve yet to figure out perfectly good place for storing master passwords, so any hints on this matter would be most appreciated.

Also, here’s a handy guide for creating passwords (and why your passwords really should be long sentences rather than “cryptic looking” short names).

P.S. Also thanks for you twitter folks who helped me decide, your help was most welcome. I’m not listing names now, you know who you are.

13 thoughts on “How to store your passwords safely & securily

  1. Juuso Post author

    On to the actual topic: I’ve been using KeePass now. Works wonders. I still haven’t solved the “where to put master key” issue, but other than that this seems like a fine choise.

    Backing up encrypted database is good too.

    Reply
  2. Juuso

    I am amazed that you people trust your brain. Id never put anything important there to remember. Like… If one day you wake up and just have complete blackdown on what the master password is.

    Sounds really scary to just remember it.

    I definitely want to put master pass somewhere. Who knows, maybe i order some painting tha has it as a slogan and put it in front of computer. Nobody would realize that the master pass is staring at me allday long 8)

    Reply
  3. Jake Birkett

    yeah master password in head + give copy to relative.
    I moved all my passwords off my PC somewhere else that won’t get stolen. Never keep anything like that on a laptop and only do the keep me logged in thing and remember password thing on really non critical sites on my laptop.

    Reply
  4. Tobias

    It’s easy to just keep backup copies of the keepass database file in several locations. The master pass-phrase definitely should only be in your head.

    Reply
  5. Tuomas

    What if your heads get bashed in, or you take a six month holiday, or you die? Sometimes it’s better that your loved ones may be able to access and shutdown your systems. Have heard some reports of people having to go through year long processes to clean up behind their dead.

    Reply
  6. Kyle

    I kind of thought that writing down a password defeats the purpose of having it in the first place. A “strong master password” should really only exist in your head.

    Reply
  7. Tuomas

    I took the option of having two ‘black books’, one at home and other at office. Many people also hold them on their mobile phone. Main thing is to have two copies in two separate physical locations to avoid one being destroyed by whatever natural disaster.

    Reply

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