By Martin Jansen, Owner of Jansen-PCINFO
Wise computer users know that they must update or change passwords frequently to assure safe computing. If you heeded my past advice and use a password manager, like Keepass, this is pretty easy. Otherwise, it could be an impossible task.
Keepass does not have a pretty interface, but it is quite usable and stores passwords and other data with aplomb. In this article, I will go through the steps of creating a new entry in Keepass to store new passwords. Then I will go through similar steps to update an existing entry.
Any good password manager has a password generator that creates strong passwords. All passwords are then stored in Keepass. You only need to remember one password – the one to open Keepass.
I’ll assume Keepass is installed and the steps to create your database have been completed. Open Keepass and enter the Master Password:
Select the three dots to see the password, if needed, before clicking on OK or typing the Enter key. A newly created database will look like this:
A couple of sample entries are available to see how fields are laid out:
The most important information: Title, Username, Password and URL.
To create a new entry, click on Cancel and then choose a group (category) on the left side of the window. Creating a new group is also possible if none of the groups is acceptable. Look for this icon: to create a new entry. Alternatively, use Ctrl+N or on the menu, select Entry then Add Entry.
Let’s use Pandora to create a new account.
I used the Gen. button to generate a 20 character password with Upper and Lower case letters, numbers and special characters. I will use this password to create a new Pandora account or change the password in an existing account.
I can do two things to reset a password with Pandora and most other websites. I can open pandora.com, select Login, and request a reset through the “Forgot Password?” option. Or I can login, go to settings under my account and enter a new password. In either case I will use the password generated in Keepass.
Using similar methods for all the websites visited will keep all passwords fresh and harder to hack. Use Keepass to generate and store all new passwords.
Keepass stores the data in an encrypted database file that you named upon setup. If you want to access the file from multiple computers you can store the file on Network Attached Storage. You can also store the file on a USB Stick and take the stick from computer to computer. The file is quite small and easily transferable.
As you update websites with new passwords, use the Gen. button to create new passwords and save them in Keepass.