Password Security and KeepassXC
I wrote an article in July 2019 about protecting yourself online (see here). Along with the article I posted a picture from Marc Goodman's website for the book Future Crimes. The infographic in that post has tips for protecting yourself online and one of them talks about password security.
I've used a password method that I read about several years ago in an article in Wired magazine. Goodman explains that that method is outdated. Hackers or even an AI interface and figure out password patterns and predict what your next password would be.
So I upgraded to a password manager and have been implementing it for the last 6 months. It took me a bit to get used to it, but I've found it is actually very easy once I got it set up correctly.
I picked KeepassXC because it is a free and open-source software. It's hard to recommend another subscription to people or to pay another one myself. Another advantage is that it is easy to use. Until I realized how it worked, I was pretty frustrated. But I put my most important password (my bank password) in the app and changed it to a really long and complicated password. That forced me to figure out how to use the password manager.
Why is a password manager important?
Most hacking crimes start with bad passwords or with password reuse. When home security and video systems were hacked a couple of months back, it happened because people used the same passwords for their home cameras as they used for other sites. It didn't take much work to copy and paste someone's email and password from a hacker database and get control of the home security system. It saves a major headache down the road by making your accounts and information harder to get into.
Steps that helped me set-up and use KeepassXC as my password manager:
- Saved the file in a Google Drive location so that my computers and phone can access the file at any time.
- Loaded the software/app on both my phone and computer. It does no good if I can't get it on my phone since that is what I use the most.
- Added the KeepassXC-Browser extension to my computer browser (Chrome) so that it can
- Log into KeepassXC on either my phone or computer at the the beginning of any session where I need it. If I didn't log into the app or software first, then I got frustrated because I didn't know the password that I needed and had to spend time logging in and then copy and paste it into the app or website. If you log-in to KeepassXC first, then everything happens seamlessly. So a good plan is to log-in at the beginning of the workday on your work computer. Or plan to log in to the app on your phone before trying to use a bank app or other app. Learning the work flow is important to ease of use with long passwords.