Abracadabra? Open Sesame? Err…

Having secure passwords has never been so important. Hackers are working overtime and passwords are leaking left and right. You can check if any of your passwords was exposed here.

Now, what password did I use for that website? Man, this is hard. I have so many accounts, on so many different websites. On top of that, I have credit cards and bank accounts… Each one of these requires a password.

I used to sort my passwords into two groups: the sensitive ones and the ones I didn’t care too much about. For the ones I didn’t care about, I used one of my default passwords. For the sensitive ones, I used a more complex password.

This worked well for me… For a while. As the number of sensitive passwords I needed grew, I realised using the same password was probably not the safest course of action. So I started using KeePass to store my passwords. It’s a free, open source solution, and it works on pretty much every platform.

KeePass stores all my sensitive data in an encrypted database saved as a file. I can save that file on my Dropbox* and access it from anywhere and from any of my devices. This is great!

I also save my passwords in my browser. Until recently, I only used Google Chrome. When I wanted to try out Microsoft Edge, I realised I had to retype all my passwords. Eew. So I decided to give LastPass a try. LastPass stores all my credentials for me and has plugins for all popular browsers. This means once I stored my credentials in one browser, I can use them in others, too.

LastPass also helps me generate unique, impossible to guess passwords. So I no longer need to settle for easy to hack passwords for my less important accounts.

When I look back at my initial approach, it wasn’t great. Do I care if somebody hacked into my BoardGameGeek account? Actually, I do. No more plain passwords for me, then.

Update (17/02/2021): LastPass are making changes to their business model. The free version only works on one device type. This sucks. I am currently trying out Bitwarden, which promises to always be free.

* Using the Dropbox link above would grant you 500MB extra for free. I’ll get 1GB.

Published by eranboudjnah

A software consultant and tech lead. Passionate about optimizing as many aspects of my life as possible, to free time for what really matters.

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