Password management tools – one password to rule them all

It seems like every site you go to these days wants you to log in with a user name and password. Some of them will store them in a cookie (remembered in your browser) but there are problems with this. Firstly, anyone who accesses your PC can access such sites. Second, if your hard drive fails or something similar, you will have to type in that old password again. Third, when you have a dozen or more, it becomes a problem remembering all those passwords. A few years ago, I bought a licence for Roboform. This saves every website login to a secure database on your pc. This database can be unlocked with a single password, which is the only one you ever have to remember. Roboform isn’t free but its very cheap and there is a free trial if you want to try it out. It also allows you to save notes in an encrypted form and to synchronise your passwords with their server – don’t worry, all the encryption is done on your pc, what is stored on their server is the encrypted one, so if you buy a new pc or need to wipe your old one, you just need to remember your password and you can get the database of all your passwords from their server. The only downside of Roboform is that you need a licence for each pc you use it on. I have a work pc, a home pc and a laptop. 2nd/3rd licences are cheap (like £10) but I thought I’d try out Lastpass. This is a free password manager and works in a similar way to Roboform. I only installed it today but it has received good reviews on the TWiT network. I was impressed how it first scans your computer for insecurely stored passwords (unencrypted) and offer to encrypt them and remove the insecure unencrypted versions. It encrypts them using 256bit AES encryption, this is about as good as it gets.

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