A password manager is a software program that securely stores many passwords and IDs.
A password manager can:
- Secure and organize hundreds of passwords.
- Generate extremely strong passwords.
- Optionally integrate with web browsers to replay your password.
A password manager is only as secure as:
- The strength of your master password.
- How well it implements cryptography.
There's the rub - many people don't use strong passwords and many companies that sell security software don't do a good job implementing the encryption.
The information security office (ISO) lists the following password manager programs below at the Recommended level, which means:
- The application is NOT supported by IT, but by the vendor or online community.
- Information Security has evaluated the technology and:
- It does the job securely, when operated correctly.
- It has a basic degree of user friendliness.
Use of similar programs in the same class as these recommended programs is deprecated, because:
- They are not certified to do the job securely.
- Recommended programs may become supported programs.
- Security and usability feedback on Recommended programs is solicited for submission at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These programs below use real encryption to protect your password lists. This means that without the master password or pass phrase no one can use the password list, not even you!
Use a different pass phrase on your password manager than you use on your NetworkID. That way, you never need to change the password manager pass phrase unless your computer or the pass phrase is compromised.
You can securely back up your password database with your normal backup methods.
KeePass and KeePassX
Paid (free for mobile). The browser integration and multi platform sync in this application, as well as its availability across operating systems and platforms, may make it a worthwhile investment. Use the smartphone or tablet versions standalone for free or upgrade them to integrate with the paid desktop versions. More info on 1Password at their Home Page or purchase (Mac/Windows) or download free (iOS/Android) from links at their education store.
Free (Windows and Universal Java Version) or Paid (native versions for mobile & Mac) This password manager has both a free Windows and a free Java version (runs on any computer with Java). There are enhanced paid versions of the software for Mac, iOS, Android. Find more info about Password Safe at its Home Page or get the free Java version. Mac users will have to control-click and select OPEN to run the Java version the first time.