Passwords are the first line defense in protecting the identity in the computing world. To ensure the protection of the online identity, it is important to protect the passwords of your online access. Be it your email account or your job site password, the protection of these passwords are very important.
The typical weaknesses of passwords are:
- Same password for multiple accounts and applications and mostly with same user name and occasionally the username is the email address
- These days the memory of people are becoming weak and people tend to forget passwords. As a workaround we write down passwords in small paper sheets/sticky and stick around the computer location
- Another way of remembering passwords is by storing passwords in excel or other sheets in the computer itself without protecting it.
Overall protection passwords itself is somewhat a difficult task if it can not be memorized. It is a best practice to have different passwords for different accounts so that if someone gets one of the password, they will not compromise the other accounts.
To protect these various passwords while ensuring the complexity of the passwords are maintained can be achieved by using password managers. These type of software provide enhanced control over managing the passwords securely and the password files are encrypted by default.
These are our top picks when it comes to the password managers
KeePass is one among the best password managers we have seen. This is an offline application is not a browser plug-in. This means that you can have your passwords for other application login also be stored in KeePass password manager in addition to the internet / browser based applications. It protects the password database with AES encryption with a 256 bit key length, which is pretty good.
It is a free and open source based password manager and runs on Windows. There is a non-Microsoft version available from which can be downloaded from KeePassX. Those of you who’d like to take your passwords with you, KeePass is available as a portable application and as PocketPC, Symbian, BlackBerry, and PalmOS ports.
Password safe is another free and open source based password manager and runs on Windows. There are plenty of implementations on other operating systems, hence sharing the password databases is not limited to Windows.
Password Gorilla is a cross-platform password manager that is compatible with Password Safe and pwsafe is a Unix command line program that manages encrypted password databases. Password Tracker is a Java based cross-platform application. It is compatible with the original Password Safe. Installers for different platforms are available
Similar to KeePass, this also has 256 bit encryption for the password database.
Sxipper is a FireFox add-on which helps you in managing passwords, auto-logins and automatically filling the forms in Firefox. Sxipper makes interacting with the Web simpler by keeping track of an unlimited number of usernames, passwords and personal information such as name, address, phone numbers, etc. Presented as you need it, Sxipper securely stores this personal data on your computer.
Sxipper is built on top of the FireFox native password manager and provides strong encryption of the passwords stored. The only challenge with Sxipper is that it is only a broswer add-on. Anyways, in the coming days we will be seeing more web applications than client server applications
Roboform offers free as well as paid versions of the password managers. Our review of the free version of this software is impressive. It can securely store the online and offline passwords, automatically logs you into online accounts and completes online registration and checkout forms easily with out much hassle.
It supports a wide range of platforms in terms of support which includes various browsers and mobile platforms.
How about some Dilbert thoughts?
Individual reviews of these password managers will follow. Meanwhile, please let us know your reviews and views on these password managers or any other once you are using. Also submit your vote on these password managers