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Password managers

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If you sometimes struggle to remember passwords, or if you're tempted to re-use a password, a password manager can help. It’s a utility which can store your usernames and passwords in a strongly encrypted personal file, and which can generate strong random passwords for you. This makes it far easier to have a different strong password for each site you use.

KeePass

DICE has keepassxc on Ubuntu and keepassx2 on SL7. It can save passwords to a local file, which it encrypts securely. On other computers, try KeePassXC. The two are closely related, and they can read and write the same .kdbx database files - so to use the same password file on several machines, just copy it between them.

To get started (with either program), read the Electronic Frontier Foundation's guide, How to: Use KeePassXC.

The original KeePass utility has been forked, copied or ported many times over the years. An extensive list of versions can be found on the Keepass download page, including several versions for mobile phones.

Apple Keychain

Apple devices have a password manager called Apple Keychain. This can share passwords between all devices which use the same Apple ID. If you create an account on a web page while using the Safari browser, it will offer to create a strong password for that account and save it in the Keychain for you.

LastPass

The University currently has a site licence for LastPass password management software, offering free Premium Accounts to all students and making the Enterprise version available to all staff.

Further reading

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has helpful advice on personal computer security:

Last reviewed: 
08/12/2020

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