Secure Password Management Tools

I’ve talked at length about how to create secure passwords, but how do you keep track of them? Many people use Word documents or Excel spreadsheets, but this is one of the most dangerous things you can do. Computer viruses know how to scan your hard drive for anything that looks like a password. If you’re going to keep your passwords on your computer, you should use a secure password manager.

Secure password managers encrypt your passwords, so you have the convenience of access without the risk. Some can even enter your passwords for you.

Agile’s 1Password is available for Windows, Mac, and mobile devices. Not only does it make password management easy, it offers a 1PasswordAnywhere feature. But be warned: if you forget your master password for 1Password, there’s no recovering it.

KeePass is free and open source, and also available for Windows, Mac and mobile devices. Instead of a master password to access your passwords, you can use a key file stored on a USB drive or CD. You can import and export from a variety of file formats.

An intriguing option is Splashdata’s SplashID KeySafe. Similar to KeePass’s key files, SplashID KeySafe is a USB drive that comes with both the Mac and Windows versions of the SplashID software.

Mac users may be interested to know that you can use the built-in KeyChain software (under Applications, Utilities on your Macintosh HD) as an encrypted password manager.

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