April 10, 2014

Heartbleed and the Password Monster

This week we have seen exactly how something bad can happen to our virtual world and better yet, how annoying it is to try and get information.

Brian Krebs has had a couple of excellent, easy to follow articles:


One of the things not mentioned and that you can do in addition to checking sites and changing passwords is get yourself a password manager.  I am going to list a few here, check them out.  Everyone has one they prefer for various reasons.  (my preference is 1Password).  They all work, some are more automatic than others. All of them make it easier for you to have better passwords and change them easily.  

The Freebies: 

Password Safe - this one has been around for ages and continues to be developed in open source.  It works great on Windows desktops.  If that is all you need, this one will do it for you.  Check out the fun video under the Quickstart guide link.  

KeePass - I have not used this one, but a number of people like it. Also Windows based like PW Safe above. No cool video, but it will likely do the same job. 

RoboForm - many people love this one. It's more polished than the other two and it works on all platforms. Windows, Mac, tablets, phones.  Very nice for a free platform.  The password database resides on their servers.  Some people are okay with this others not so comfortable. It depends on you're personality when it comes to this. 


LastPass - this is another online based system.  The freemium model means you can get their basic services on your computer for free.  If you want to go with mobile devices too, then you have to pay them. It's not terribly expensive, they do charge per year.   They also hold secure notes among other things.  I haven't used it, but I know people who love it. Ironically, they were hit with the Heartbleed bug although they have fixed their servers.

Pay for:

1Password - I have been using this for several years now and love it. Yes, it's pay for.  It does not run on Windows tablets so if that is important to you, then this is not the one to use.  

They started as a Mac application and it works beautifully on all apple products.  Your options are to have the database on your computer, on dropbox, or (if you are on apple) on icloud.  I have used it via dropbox to sync to my Windows 7, Mac, iphone, and ipad.  It will also sync to android devices.  

I like the flexibility of where the database will reside.  I also like the features of secure notes, software license folder, credit card folder, personal identity folder (to fill in forms on websites).

I'm sure there are others out there, but among these, you should be able to find something that fits your needs and works for you.  

Posted by: Teresa in WebTech at 01:51 PM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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