Tech I use – KeepassX

I spend a lot of my time on the computer. I also spend a lot of time exploring to find out what I can use to make my computing time more enjoyable and more efficient. I think others can benefit from the things I have found, so this is my first of posts that I will make to highlight hardware and software technology that I have and I like.

KeepassX logoMy first post will be about a piece of software I’ve been using for about a year now called KeepassX. This is a program you can use to keep your passwords organized. It’s free, its open source, and best of all, its cross platform. More and more sites these days make you sign up to use their service. Whether its a forum you participate in, you bank, credit card, email, Facebook, Twitter, servers, websites, the list goes no. Some folks have a separate user name and password for each place they log into. This can be hard to keep track of. I personally have some passwords that are tough for me to remember. KeepassX will help you keep track of that. Have you ever forgotten what user name or password you use on a website? KeepassX is your solution.

Is it safe to keep all your passwords in one place on your computer? I believe it can be. The file that KeepassX uses to store your information in is encrypted with Twofish or AES. You must remember one password to get into this file. It is a lot easier only having to remember one password instead of a whole list of them. If you don’t want to use a password, it will allow you to use a keyfile as well.

This method is also safer than keeping a word or excel document on your computer with all of your passwords. This is also better than the piece of paper some people keep by their computer (like my wife used to do before we got married).

There’s lots of features that you can explore about it if you like. For example, it can remind you to set a new password after a certain length of time. It can generate a password and tell you how strong the one is that you are using. One of my favorite features is when you open the program, you can right click on the list of logins and have it copy the user name or password to your clipboard. Then you can paste it into the form field without having to type it in. For security, it clears your clipboard after about a minute.

I use two computers in two different environments on a daily basis. Overall, I use Mac OSX, Ubuntu Linux, MS Windows, and Android on my phone. All of those environments have a version of KeepassX that will allow you to access your logins and passwords. You can keep one file that has all of your information in it. I have a file server that I had been using to keep my keepass file on that I could use to share the file between computers. I recently started using a program called Dropbox to keep the file synched between computers. I’ll write more about that in a later post.

You can download KeepassX from the website for free for what ever of the popular operating systems that you use. The android app is called KeePassDroid and is developed by someone else, but uses the same file format.

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