How to Store Passwords on Your Computer

Nowadays we are always connected and it is necessary to remember many passwords: just think for example of the need to enter a password to access e-mail, the password for the use of the numerous accounts for Web services to which you register, not to mention the passwords required by social networking applications.

Obviously, the golden rules of passwords provide that you must never use the same password (I hope you know this) and then you have to consider that every Internet site where you register has different rules regarding the setting a password: there is the site that requires a string of alphanumeric characters, who a long password with upper and lower case and so on.

In short, the fact is that either you have a good memory or it will be difficult to remember all the passwords entered. In light of this, how about if I reveal you a method for store passwords on your computer? No, no leaflets, there are programs that perform the function of password manager. Do you want to know which ones I recommend and how to use them? Then this is the tutorial for you. I wish you a good read.

Index:

  • Preliminary notes
  • Programs for storing passwords on your computer
    • KeePass
    • Other programs for storing passwords on your computer

Preliminary Notes

Speaking of golden rules for creating a password, you need to know that if you want to keep your data safe, your password must be as complex as possible.

This is because simple passwords can be easily found, giving the possibility of access to services related to any attacker. Also, a piece of advice I want to give you is to activate the two-step verification feature, an additional protection tool that works via email or SMS verification code.

If it is not possible to activate this kind of service, then you will necessarily have to think about choosing a strong password. A strong password must in any case be long and must contain uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as numbers and special symbols (such as period, parentheses, percentage).

Also, make sure you don't use words that can be easily found in a dictionary, as they are the first words that will be used to attempt to access your data.

The most important advice of all is also to never use the same password in the services you use. Should there ever be a breach in the security of one of the services to which you are registered or an attacker should discover your password, the accounts of all the services to which you are registered could be compromised.

It is therefore important to always have complex and different passwords for each service to which you are registered or, at least, for those that you consider really important, as they could perhaps contain your sensitive data.

In this regard, programs to memorize passwords on the computer come into play, which I will talk about in the next paragraphs.

Programs for Storing Passwords on Your Computer

The programs that I will suggest in this paragraph will help you to keep in mind all the access data that you will use in the services you are registered to. Please note that these programs can be installed on your PC and, if available, also on other devices, so as to keep your data synchronized wherever you are.

KeePass

KeePass is a project-based password manager .. It is therefore downloadable for free on Windows, or even on other devices, such as macOS and Linux, through Mono, a virtual machine for these devices.

In any case, in the section Download on the official website you can also find unofficial projects that are always based on KeePass; you can download apps for Android, iOS, macOS, Windows Mobile, Linux, browser extensions and many more.

In this guide I will address the download of the official version for Windows. Then go to the website link I gave you and click the button Download now at the section Installer. You can also download the portable version (Portable), which does not require any installation on your computer.

After downloading the installation file, double click on it and then click on the button Yes, in the window of Windows User Account Control.

Then select your language and click the button Ok. Accept the terms of service by checking the box I accept the terms of the license agreement and click sul pulsating forward four times. Then click the button Install, to begin the installation, and then finish the process by clicking the button end.

Then wait for KeePass to start and, in the window that appears, click Enable, to allow Internet access to KeePass and check for new updates from time to time. The KeePass interface will then open.

If the language is not set to Italian and you want to change it, you can click View > Change language. In the window that appears, click the button Get more languages, in order to open a web page. Search for the Italian language and click on the link of the version of KeePass you have downloaded.

After downloading the language pack, go back to KeePass and click View > Change language. Then click Open Folder, in order to open a folder of Windows Explorer which points to the location of the KeePass language packs. Then unzip the language archive, which you downloaded earlier, into this folder.

Now you will have to head up again View > Change language and select Italian with a double click of the mouse. Then click the button Yes to restart KeePass in Italian.

To start saving your passwords, click Fillet and then New. You will be prompted to create a new database. Then click Ok and select the path on your computer where you want the entire project containing your passwords to be saved.

After selecting the database save location, you will be shown a window where you can set your master password (Master key). This is important to encrypt the project and not make it readable by an attacker or any other software.

By clicking on the box Show opzioni advance, you can create advanced access recovery tools, in case you lose the master key; you can restrict access to the Microsoft user account in use on your Windows computer or create a file to use as an access key. Click Ok to confirm.

Then enter the name of your database, leaving all other information as set by default and click Ok. You will be prompted to print an emergency sheet which will summarize all the information for restoring the database, in case you forget the master key. You can decide to print (Print) or skip the procedure (Salta).

To add a new password, click on a category to the side and then click the button with the symbol of a key, which you find in the bar at the top left (or CTRL+i).

In the new window you can add all the information you need to store your data: username, password, reference URL to log in, a deadline or notes. You can also use the other tabs to add more information, such as attachments, for example. Then click Ok to confirm.

To view the entered passwords, you can double-click the entered key name (column Title). By double clicking on the username or password, it will automatically be copied to the clipboard and made available to paste where you need it; however, you will have 12 seconds to do so.

Always remember to save before closing KeePass. Click on X to close the program and, in the message that appears, click on the box below Automatically save when chiudi / blocchi il database and then click Save.

Other Programs for Storing Passwords on Your Computer

There are so many programs you can use to store passwords on your computer, but below I will point out some that, I'm sure, can do for you.

  • Your favorite browser - Remember that all passwords you use when browsing the web can be saved by your browser. Chrome, Firefox, Edge, Safari and many others use a saving and autocompletion system for entering passwords. If an account is also entered, these are saved in the cloud, so that they are always available.
  • 1Password (Windows / macOS) - It's software with monthly subscription ($ 2,99 / month minimum) for saving passwords and sensitive data. It offers the possibility of saving unlimited data with at least 1GB of space available for any documents to attach. It also offers the two-factor authentication system for added protection and security. All saved passwords will also be available across all your devices, considering compatibility for Windows, macOS, and mobile devices such as Android and iOS.
  • LastPass (Browser) - This password storage service free works via browser extension. All passwords are saved in the cloud on LastPass servers and, if necessary, filled in automatically or accessible via the browser extension. It supports Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera and Microsoft Edge. For the latter, the extension can also be installed via an app on the Windows 10 App Store. You can also subscribe to access additional and advanced functions.
  • RoboForm (Browser) - It is an extension that integrates with the main browsers for web browsing. It is therefore available for Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Edge and Opera, both on Windows operating systems and on macOS and Linux. It is also available as an app on Android and iOS. Although the service is free, a subscription costing € 19,95 / year is required to activate the service Everywhere, which allows synchronization between devices.