How to Use a Password Manager

As you have already read about Selecting a Strong Password, lets go a step forward and understand how to use a password manager.

There are many different manager applications to choose from, so you’ll need to pick which one you’d like to use, and then install it on your computer. These are the general steps, but you may want to check the documentation for your specific application for more details.

  1. Choose a password manager. Some popular ones are:
    • 1Password (closed-source, commercial)
    • LastPass (closed-source, free/commercial)
    • Dashlane (closed-source, free/commercial)
    • KeePass (open source, free)
    • RoboForm (closed-source, commercial).
    • You can find even more choices by using your favorite search engine.
  2. Install it on your computer.
  3. Install any extensions or plugins for the web browser(s) you use.
  4. Create a strong master password to open the password database. See the post How to create a passphrase  for advice on how to do that.
  5. (optional) Write down the master password, and store it in a secure location, like a safe-deposit box or a locked safe. It’s important to have a backup in case you ever forget the master password.
  6. (optional) Share your password database across multiple devices with the application’s built-in tools or via a service like Dropbox. If you use an external service, make sure you have a strong password for it and enable two-factor authentication on the account (if possible).

Now that you have your password manager setup, you can start to generate strong passwords with it. Find your manager’s built-in password-generation tool, and configure it to create 30-50 random characters, with a mixture of upper- and lower-case letters, numbers, and symbols.

You will end up with something that looks like this: N9}>K!A8$6a23jk%sdf23)4Q[uRa~ds{234]sa+f423@

That may look intimidating, but keep in mind that you’ll never need to remember it or type it in; your password manager will handle that for you automatically.




Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s