I am using the term protect passwords in a broader sense. It involves a lot of thing. I mean to protect passwords you need to keep your system clean from keyloggers or key stroke loggers, prying eyes, and also maintain the habit of using different strong passwords for different accounts. All these things you can easily achieve. Use a competent Internet Security Solution to thwart the threat of keyloggers. I prefer security products from Avira, Kaspersky, Bitdefender and of course the Micorsoft Security Essentials (which I’m using) for this purpose. Also when you are up to enter the log in credentials in the input fields of your online accounts, keep a watch on your surroundings for prying eyes. If you want to create an extra secure password online check this article Generate Extra Secure Passwords Using Wolfram Alpha.
So you are already adhere to the above. Now we can look at another scenario. It’s about protecting all your passwords in a ‘locker’.
We use passwords to protect our digital life whether it is online or offline. We need to memorize the passwords we use in order to access the protected files or webpages again. You may have signed up for multiple social networks, email, bank accounts, insurance company account etc. online. Further you may be needed to remember ATM Pins, Phone Banking PINs etc. In my case other than the above, I have lots of offline documents and spreadsheets which I have protected using different passwords.
I never used or using same password to protect all my online accounts unlike my offline files. It is not advisable and can’t be practical. Some online accounts limit your choice to enter a password with characters, numbers and symbols only. At the same time some other online accounts allow you to use only characters and numbers in passwords. Normally phone banking and ATM pins are only numbers. So same password is not possible in all cases and if you are using same password in all possible places, remember, the risk factor associated with it is high.
In addition some online accounts like bank accounts require the users to change their log in passwords frequently citing security concerns and it is right. So definitely you may have to remember a lots of passwords over the time. If you adopt some peculiar order to create passwords you may able to remember it, at some extent. So memorizing passwords are a big issue for lots of people.
It is not a good idea to put all your passwords in black and white in a Diary or scribbling pad. Alternatively enter all your log in credentials in a document or spredsheet. Encrypt the file and password protect it. That is what I’m going to explain you.
So in this article we can learn how to protect passwords or keep passwords securely for future reference. The method is simple. You just create a text, word, or Excel file to put all your passwords. Once you complete entering the passwords, I mean log in credentials, keep the file in a highly encrypted form and keep it on your PC’s hard drive, any external storage device, or online cloud storage like your Dropbox etc.
Follow the Steps Below to Protect Passwords in a ‘Locker’ for Quicker Reference
Enter your passwords as mentioned above in any file. While entering passwords, you may use * mark instead of some characters in your passwords to keep it safe from prying eyes. For example if you use password “zZdoLLy4900#” you put it just like “zZdoLLy**00″ if you can remember the digit 49.
I have used the word ‘Locker’ few times above and even in the title. I was referring to a free encryption software called SafeHouse Explorer. I have been using it since the last one year to password protect my folders in Windows, files etc. So we can use it to store our just created sensitive file containing all our passwords. I choose SafeHouse Explorer because it ensurers maxim protection by using passwords and maximum-strength 256-bit advanced encryption. It completely hide and defend your sensitive files. Let us see how to protect passwords using SafeHouse Explorer.
First download and install SafeHouse Explorer. After installation run it from the start menu and click New Volume that you can see on the opening window of SafeHouse Explorer. Click Next. Select the location of your private file storage area and give a file name and description (optional)
Enter the required storage space. Here we only require a few kilobytes. Enter the volume size and choose kilobytes. Click next and enter a strong password in the password field. Also remember, this is the master password or only one password you need to memorize in future. After entering the password click Next. You can see an option to create desktop shortcut of your new safe storage volume. If not required remove tick mark against Create a desktop shortcut to open this volume. Then click “Create Volume”. It will take few seconds to create your highly secure storage space to store your password file invisible. Once the volume is created you can instantly add your above created file (the file containing all your passwords) to it. You can see a popup window asking “Open volume your_file_name[dot]sdsk now?” Click Yes and drag and drop the password file to it. Then lock it from the file menu->lock volume.
If you opt not to add files instantly or want to add any additional file to the volume, open the volume from the stored location by double clicking the [dot]sdsk file you have created. You need to enter the password to access it.
That is all. Now your password file is invisible. You can copy the [dot]sdsk file and keep it on your USB storage device or cloud storage. So that you can refer the passwords whenever you need it from anywhere, whether you are online or offline.
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