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Tag: Password Managers

The KeePassXC User Guide

Here’s a basic KeePassXC user guide where you’ll learn how to store and use your first super-secure password.

If you haven’t done so already, please install KeePassXC on your computer. You can do this by following my guide to installing KeePassXC on Windows 10. When that is done, return here.

KeePassXC might look a bit daunting at first sight, but there is no need to worry. To use KeePassXC as a basic password manager only requires basic knowledge of the application. And when you’ve finished reading through this KeePassXC user guide, you’ll have the knowledge you need.

Without further ado, let’s get cracking!

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How to Install KeePassXC on Windows 10

Follow this guide to quickly download and install KeePassXC on Windows 10.

In a post published last month, I concluded that KeePassXC is the best open source password manager. The time has now come to tell you how you can quickly get KeePassXC up and running on your Windows computer.

First, a word of caution. KeePassXC is a local password manager without any built in cloud synchronization mechanism. This means that all the passwords you manage in KeePassXC will only be available on the computer where the password manager is running. Also, as a natural consequence of this, your password database will not be backed up automatically. But fear not. We’ll cover cloud backups and synchronization across all your devices in a later post.

Now let’s get password managin’!

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What is The Best Open Source Password Manager?

In recent posts we’ve covered what a password manager is, and why you should use one. Now it’s time to find the best open source password manager.

If you’re not sure what a password manager is, or why you should use one, I recommend you read two of my previous posts. What is a Password Manager? covers the “what”, and Why Should I Use a Password Manager? covers the “why”.

What is the best password manager is, of course, subjective. But my criteria are as follows:

  • The password manager has to be open source. Open source code means that everyone can audit the code and make sure nothing fishy is going on.
  • It has to be free as in speech (libre). There are no restrictions on how the password manager can be used.
  • The password manager doesn’t have to be free as in beer (gratis). If it’s good enough, and the price is fair, I’d gladly pay for it.
  • The password manager has to work on the operating systems I use frequently: Windows, macOS, Linux, and Android.
  • It has to be possible to self-host the password manager. This means that I can install and run it on my own server or computer.
  • It has to be possible to synchronize the password manager’s database across multiple devices.
  • Backing up the password manager’s database has to be hassle free.
  • The password manager has to have an accompanying browser extension to make using it with a browser as user friendly as possible.

The open source and self-hosting criteria limit the number of possible password managers. While there are a lot of different password managers available, only a few of them are open source and supports self-hosting.

Now let’s get cracking!

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What is a Password Manager?

What is a password manager, and how can it save you from hackers and password fatigue?

As we discussed in the post Why Should I Use a Password Manager?, the average internet user typically has a few online accounts. All these accounts require that you provide a pair of credentials – a username and a password – to log in. As we know, a long password is more secure than a short one, but who can possibly remember tons of different long passwords? No one.

Because of this, many people use the same, short and uncomplicated password on all their online accounts. The username is also usually the same everywhere – more often than not, it’s the e-mail address of the user.

There’s no doubt that this is very convenient. It’s one pair of credentials to rule them all. But what happens if one of the services you use gets hacked, and your credentials are leaked? Since you’re using the same username and password everywhere, the hacker can now log in to all the online services you use!

To prevent this from happening, you should use a password manager. But what is a password manager?

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Why Should I Use a Password Manager?

Short answer: You should use a password manager because good passwords are hard to remember. Long answer: See below.

To log on to a website on the internet, you normally have to provide a username and a password. A good password is a long one because the more characters a password has, the longer it takes for a hacker’s computer to guess it. But it’s also generally hard to remember long passwords, and many people tend to use the same password – and often username – on all the websites they log in to.

When you use the same credentials everywhere, there’s a higher chance a hacker can figure out your username and password.

Actually, it’s very likely that it has already happened.

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