3 free tools to help manage your passwords
Today's government workers really have little choice — no matter what identity management technologies agencies or individuals adopt, we still will be using passwords for the foreseeable future. Effective security for online activities requires managing passwords, which can be a daunting job. Fortunately, help is available.
There are a variety of personal password management tools available to help individuals keep track of and use passwords, and many of them are free or at least affordable. Most of them work as a kind of safe where passwords can be securely stored and automatically accessed as needed. Here are a few examples of what is available. This is not an exhaustive list, by any stretch of the imagination, and I have not personally tested them. But they have received good reviews from professionals and they could offer a starting place for your search for help.
- KeePass Password Safe is a free, open-source password manager. Its latest release is version, 2.19. It lets you keep all passwords in a single file, so you need only a single master key. Contents can be encrypted with AES and Twofish.
- LastPass has a free download available, with a premium version available for a $1 month subscription. You need just one master password to access accounts across multiple Web sites on a variety of browsers.
- AES Password Manager 2.0 is free application for storing and managing sensitive data, including passwords, PIN codes and credit card numbers. It uses, as its name suggests, the Advanced Encryption Standard.
One caveat: As J.R.R. Tolkien showed in The Lord of the Rings, there is an inherent danger in putting all of your power in a single place, be it the One Ring or a master password. Protect your Precious accordingly.
William Jackson is a senior writer of GCN and the author of the CyberEye blog.