04.23.2012

Best Solution for Securely Storing Passwords and PINs

You should never write passwords or PINs down on paper nor should you keep them stored in a text file, Word document, or Excel spreadsheet. Additionally, you should never use the same password at more than one place or web site because doing so will provide a hacker easy access to everything if he/she gains access to your favorite password. I will now explain how you can securely keep your passwords and PINs with you at all times and within easy reach whether you are using your iPad, Android tablet, Windows phone, PC, notebook, MacBook, Linux machine, or smartphone.

Follow up:

A combination of two applications that are free to use will accomplish the task of securely storing your sensitive information while at the same time keep the information synchronized across all of your devices. The secure application used to store passwords, PIN numbers, and other sensitive information is KeePass Password Safe. KeePass is a free open source password manager that allows you to store and manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all of your passwords in one database (file), which is locked with one master key/password. So you only have to remember one single master password to unlock the database. The database is encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES and Twofish).

The second application is Dropbox. Like KeePass, Dropbox is available for all devices, PCs, Macs, and Linux. Dropbox is used to keep the encrypted KeePass database file synchronized across all of the devices you use. It does this automatically for you and is free for the first 2 Gig of storage space. This amount of space is more than plenty for the encrypted KeePass database file.

To get going with these two applications, I would recommend downloading Dropbox first and installing it on your PC or Mac. After installation, Dropbox will require you to set up a Dropbox account which is where a copy of your encrypted database file will end up - in the cloud. After getting Dropbox installed, create a folder inside your Dropbox folder for KeePass. This folder will hold your encrypted KeePass file.

After installing Dropbox on your PC or Mac, download and install KeePass. Before you are able to use KeePass, KeePass will require you to create a database file. When doing this, you will want to set the location of the new file to be inside the folder you created above for KeePass inside Dropbox.

At this point, you can enter passwords, PINs, and other sensitive information you wish to store such as credit card information, bank accounts, and etc. into KeePass on your PC or Mac. Next, you will want to install both applications on all of your other machines and devices, keeping in mind that you must install Dropbox first then KeePass.