Securely track your passwords

Everyone of us has had passwords written down on a piece of paper on the desk or stored on our computers in some word document, notepad, sticky pad or even zip files.The purpose, so that when we need them we will readily have them available.The problem that exists with this scenario is that when we can`t find them or we try to log in to a website and we get denied access because someone has already logged in using your password that was left on your sticky pad in the office....You don`t need this drama in your life and that is why you ought to read this article.I will guide you through some steps in investing your time in setting up and installing a password manager that will secure ALL your passwords.
Today we will look at KeePass

KeePass is a free password manager application that is very robust,open- source software and it is easy to use.This application basically runs on different platforms but is most common on the windows (Installation will be done on a windows platform).KeePass secures passwords with a single Master password and or with a coresponding keyfiles.The linux compatible version is called KeePassX and you must take into consideration that the user interface for this is not as polished as it`s windows counterparts.Keypass is also perfect for your portable devices such as your blackberry, ipad, laptops or symbian,etc.So if you are going somewhere and you want your passwords on your portable device, no problem.

How does KeePass work?

The keePass password management application basically does an encryption of all inputed user passwords entered into it`s database and to access this database a unique Master password must be entered.KeePass stores information such as (Title,Username,URL,password info., notes etc), this is all in keeping with being specific.You can create different groups with password for work computers, home wi-fi networks, office wi-fi networks, social networks, emails etc, So when you go to a specific group you will see all it`s passwords with coresponding information.

KeePass set up and installation

1.Download and install KeePass.

2.After installation click on the KeyPass icon, when it pops up Go to File Menu and click New (Here you will create a database to store all your passwords).

3.A dialog box pops up prompting you to either enter a master password and or a key file disk like that shown below:

If you have choosen to use a Master Password to access the database all you need to do is just enter it into the password box.But if for some reason you you want to use a key file that will be stored on your computer system,click "choose disk" from the drop down menu.You can choose to save the key file to any location of your choice e.g a flash drive.However to do this you would need to click,   "choose  keyfile manually".Remember the Keyfile is just like the Master password.

Note it is much better to use a key file and a master password for securing your KeePass database.
However if you decide to use the key file, you will notice that KeePass will use random mouse movement or keyboard inputs to generate the key file.Please see below:

What you do here is just click on the part that says Use the "Mouse as a Random Source", now move the mouse all over within the colored area.If you have entered a Master key previously, the application will ask you to re-enter it to finalise the install.

Adding an entry

Adding an entry or saving a password is easy, all you have to do is just make a right click in the right pane and choose "Add entry" from the context menu.Fill in the necessary details like (login name for which ever site, password and specific Url).You will soon realise that KeePass will analyze how strong (quality) is your password as you enter it in the password box (you will notice the password quality meter at the bottom).

Now that you have added an entry within the KeePass database inclusive of username/logins and passwords etc, you should not have any problem remembering any password.You can create groups to store specific passwords and logins based on their purpose,such school,wi-fi networks, social networks etc.

Retrieving your stored passwords

Retrieving a password from the KeePass database is very easy all you have to do is click on your left hand side in the Genaral area under the name you have stored your password and you should see all details of your passwords info.However if you have stored passwords in groups like that below, you just click on the specific group and you should see all relevant password information for that particular group.

KeyPass`s configuration, security and availability makes it a very handy and crafty tool when shopping for a password manager.So how do you keep track of your passwords? Tell us by leaving your comments.

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