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KeePass

One extremely important thing when it comes to signing up for various things on the web is to keep track of what password you have used for what. The last thing that you want to do is to sign up for everything using the same password since if someone then gets your password from one site that hasn't stored it securely they can then use it to access all the other sites you have signed up with.

Actually there may be some sites that you sign up for where you are not too worried about the security because there is no personal information about you associated with that signup. Such signups might include newlsetters and perhaps some membership sites. With those sites you may decide to make things a bit easier for yourself in the short term by using a single password for those sites. You certainly will not want to use the same password for sites where you do have personal details stored though. Even though the sites you are concerned about may have proper security in place to stop others getting your password, other sites may not and if the same password is used for multiple sites someone may be able to break into your balk account (for example) through having obtained the password you used to sign up for a newsletter.

Even using the same password for multiple accounts you are not too worried about may be a false economy if someone obtains that password.

So what can we do when we have hundreds of sites to sign up for? How can we remember hundreds of different passwords? Well we don't really have to if we have a program on our own computer to keep track of all the passwords for us. Provided that the password vault program that we choose to use stores all our password data in an encrypted format and requires a master password to be entered to decrypt the content, you can use a different password for each signup and only ever need to remember your master password. Because this program sits on your own computer (or perhaps on removable media), someone would have to get through the security on your computer (firewall etc) to even start to look to see if you have such a program. Even then unless they know your master password or have actually cracked the encryption on whatever vault you are using in some other way, they will not have access to your passwords even if they did manage to bypass all the other layers of security and find the vault program. This makes this solution far more secure than storing all your passwords in a plain text file on your computer. Most password vault programs also provide an easy way to copy passwords into web pages without your even needing to see what the password is (so someone looking over your shoulder will not see it either. They may also provide a password generator function that will generate passwords of random strings of letters, numbers etc to make your passwords impossible to guess (and you will not have to remember them as long as you remember your master password).

So where can you find such a password vault program? Well there are a number around that you can buy as well as several that are available as free downloads. One such vault that is available as a free download and which I have uploaded to the Member's Area to save you having to search for it is KeePass.

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