A few months ago I was sitting next to my better half and watched her rising frustration with all of the passwords for the different websites she used each day. Even with a password manager, her conclusion was the whole point of passwords is that they aren’t meant to be easy.

I decided to start making a real effort to put all of my passwords in KeePass and use it each day. After doing this for the past few months, I have come to the conclusion that a password manager is the only way to effectively manage passwords. And it doesn’t have to be a pain.

With my new found love for KeePass and Heartbleed in the news, I took the time to change my passwords and add everything in to my account. I now have a full database of all my passwords that are encrypted and getting access requires a master password that only I know and a separate file that contains an encrypted key. This key is kept on a removable USB drive (with a backup of the key in my safe).

After not finding a comprehensive guide on how to install and configure KeePass and some of the plugins to make life easier, I decided to put together a tutorial on how to make the best use of it in the real world.

I hope you consider using some form of password manager because I promise that it will make things easier in the long run and keep your digital life much more secure.

So let’s get started –

1) Download KeePass from their website:
> Choose the “Professional Edition.” You can see the difference here, but this tutorial assumes you are using it.

2) Install the program on your machine by double-clicking the file that you just downloaded.
> If you have certain security settings, you will be prompted for authorization to run the program
> Pick your language
> Click “Next”
> Accept the License Agreement
> Select “Full Installation”
> Check “Associate KeePass with .kdbx file extension” (this will allow you to open your file easily by double clicking on it)
> Click “Install” to add it to your machine
> The progress bar will let you know when the application is installed. It will only take a few seconds.
> Click “Finish”
> Rejoice with happiness that you have taken a huge step forward in securing your digital life.

The real fun begins when you integrate your new KeePass account with Google’s Chrome web browser. We’ll cover that in an upcoming post so check back soon.

Photo credit: System Lock by Yuri Samoilov (CC by 2.0)

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