Do you use a password manager?

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meadowrue
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Do you use a password manager?

Post by meadowrue »

If so, which one would you recommend? I have always used 3-4 different passwords and easily remember them (though they are not “easy” passwords per se) but I handle all the finances in our house and fear that my mental recall of passwords would leave DH in quite a bind were something to happen to me. Not to mention the hacking/security risk of using the same password for more than one site (I know, this is not smart!) How safe are password managers, and how exactly do they work? Thank you!
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jebmke
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by jebmke »

There are many good ones. The one I use is called Keepass

https://keepass.info/

I can keep the file and program on a USB drive

Many of the popular ones are online. I'm sure others will chime in with their favorite.
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Blues
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Blues »

I have used LastPass for many years and have never had cause to regret doing so. It does everything I want, though I know that there are naysayers who have a different point of view.

There are several good options.
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vrr106
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by vrr106 »

+1 for lastpass for working across devices and operations systems (apple and windows)
Caliscotsman
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Caliscotsman »

90 passwords here.
Watching this thread with interest.
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squirrel1963
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by squirrel1963 »

I use Lastpass with the google authenticator as 2FA device. There is no such thing as perfect security, but a password manager is a lot better than the alternative of writing passwords down. Just make sure you have 2FA enabled for both password manager and all financial accounts. Enabling 2FA for email is also important as that's where you get all communication from brokerages.
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runner3081
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by runner3081 »

Lastpass, been using for a long time.
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Blues
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Blues »

squirrel1963 wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 2:36 pm I use Lastpass with the google authenticator as 2FA device. There is no such thing as perfect security, but a password manager is a lot better than the alternative of writing passwords down. Just make sure you have 2FA enabled for both password manager and all financial accounts. Enabling 2FA for email is also important as that's where you get all communication from brokerages.
All good points. I use "Authy" in place of Google authenticator. And agree with protecting email, password manager, as well as financial and other important sites.
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by random_walker_77 »

I use bitwarden. It's well-regarded, undergoes regular security audits, and makes it easy to generate secure passwords and unique usernames (https://bitwarden.com/help/generator/). They allow you to have unique strong passwords, unique usernames for each site, and autofill into valid sites. This last point means that if it won't autofill, you need to doublecheck that you're not on a spoofed phishing website.

I was happy with the free plan, but upgraded last year to the $10/yr plan in order to support it and for more secure file transfer (as compared to email attachments).
MathWizard
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by MathWizard »

1 Password

Recommended by IT security professionals that I trust.

This is not free however.
djshackesq
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by djshackesq »

MathWizard wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 2:50 pm 1 Password

Recommended by IT security professionals that I trust.

This is not free however.
This is the right answer.
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mrmass
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by mrmass »

djshackesq wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 2:51 pm
MathWizard wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 2:50 pm 1 Password

Recommended by IT security professionals that I trust.

This is not free however.
This is the right answer.
This is the way.
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meadowrue
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by meadowrue »

Thank you for all the quick responses. I appreciate the recommendation for 2FA, too, across all accounts. I definitely need to do this.
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mdavis6890
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by mdavis6890 »

I'm going to give another vote for BitWarden. It's got all the bells and whistles (and polish) as other solutions - but it's also Open Source which gives me the confidence that anyone can examine the source code to determine it's safety, security and lack of back doors. It also means that a tech-savvy user could run it themselves if desired.

I've used KeePass in the past, but I'm a very tech-savvy person and honestly I don't think it's well suited to those who aren't.
cacophony
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by cacophony »

I used LastPass premium for many years, but switched to Bitwarden about 2 years ago and find it significantly better. It's also cheaper.
bloom2708
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by bloom2708 »

We use a family subscription to 1Password.

If everyone is using it and keeping it up to date, it works perfect. You can use as much or little of the functions as desired.

My wife tends to not add new things and re-use the same semi-decent password.
tarheel91
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by tarheel91 »

Trivial stuff is on lastpass. Non-trivial accounts (about 4 financial accounts) are on local keepassxc.

From what I observed, financial risk is coming from hacking the other ways. ACATS (who thought of this), usual scams involving venmo, zelle, and stuff.

Hackers realized that we secured our accounts. So, they are going after other means. It's a never ending game.

To keep myself updated ... I watch a kid with a screen name kitboga. He's actually pretty good.
rj49
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by rj49 »

I keep a document in a hidden file on my computer and update it when I change passwords. I keep a printed copy hidden among other files, and I let my sister know where to look if I die suddenly. A 'in case I die' file is also helpful, with account numbers where you have financial business, and with clear directions for a surviving spouse or relative. My stepdad did that for my mother, which was helpful for getting VA survivor's benefits and a very old military life insurance policy.
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tennisplyr
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by tennisplyr »

A family member suggested this informal system:

-8 (or more) digit password
-first 4 digits represent the site your logging into (eg, Facebook site= Face….)
-last 4 digits are reusable letters/numbers/symbols (eg, Facebook site= “Faceplyr”)

Another eg:
-Bogleheads: “Boglplyr”
Last edited by tennisplyr on Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Joyful
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Joyful »

IMO it's just a matter of time before Password managers are hacked too.
PaunchyPirate
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by PaunchyPirate »

1Password. Works great across my PC, my virtual PC, my MacBook, my iPhone and my iPad. I use it in Safari, Edge, Chrome and Firefox browsers. I pay an annual subscription because it’s worth it.
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by MikeG62 »

runner3081 wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 2:40 pm Lastpass, been using for a long time.
Me too.
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Vulcan
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Vulcan »

I'm an IT professional, and I find Chrome's built-in password manager perfectly adequate for my needs, and the price is right.

My Google account is already the key to my digital kingdom, and I prefer not to trust any other 3rd parties to get this critical piece right, nor do I want to have to install additional software on multiple devices.
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by mptfan »

Vulcan wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:41 pm My Google account is already the key to my digital kingdom, and I prefer not to trust any other 3rd parties to get this critical piece right, nor do I want to have to install additional software on multiple devices.
The biggest issue with this is your Google account becomes a single point of failure. As you said, it is the key to your digital kingdom.
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Vulcan
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Vulcan »

mptfan wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:54 pm
Vulcan wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:41 pm My Google account is already the key to my digital kingdom, and I prefer not to trust any other 3rd parties to get this critical piece right, nor do I want to have to install additional software on multiple devices.
The biggest issue with this is your Google account becomes a single point of failure. As you said, it is the key to your digital kingdom.
It is the key regardless. Your email is your key. There's no way around it.

I'd rather not add new points of failure.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by case_of_ennui »

I use a notepad in my nightstand drawer. I need to look into some of these. I just have trouble trusting third parties with my important passwords.
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by MGBMartin »

jebmke wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 2:18 pm There are many good ones. The one I use is called Keepass

https://keepass.info/

I can keep the file and program on a USB drive

Many of the popular ones are online. I'm sure others will chime in with their favorite.
Exactly the same for me too.
I also have the USB drive encrypted as well, probably overkill but it makes me happy.
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Vulcan
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Vulcan »

Vulcan wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:07 pm
mptfan wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:54 pm
Vulcan wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:41 pm My Google account is already the key to my digital kingdom, and I prefer not to trust any other 3rd parties to get this critical piece right, nor do I want to have to install additional software on multiple devices.
The biggest issue with this is your Google account becomes a single point of failure. As you said, it is the key to your digital kingdom.
It is the key regardless. Your email is your key. There's no way around it.
And what I mean by that is that (almost) every site allows you to receive a password reset link to your registered email by answering a series of questions. So (almost) all your accounts' security is only as strong as your email account security.
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Vulcan
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Vulcan »

MGBMartin wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:11 pm
jebmke wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 2:18 pm There are many good ones. The one I use is called Keepass

https://keepass.info/

I can keep the file and program on a USB drive

Many of the popular ones are online. I'm sure others will chime in with their favorite.
Exactly the same for me too.
I also have the USB drive encrypted as well, probably overkill but it makes me happy.
Do you enter your passwords manually?
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by AnnetteLouisan »

I just write the passwords down. No, not on the back of my hand (that’s for phone numbers and grocery lists), I use a sheet of paper called “Passwords.” It’s old school, but it works.
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by MGBMartin »

Vulcan wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:13 pm
MGBMartin wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:11 pm
jebmke wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 2:18 pm There are many good ones. The one I use is called Keepass

https://keepass.info/

I can keep the file and program on a USB drive

Many of the popular ones are online. I'm sure others will chime in with their favorite.
Exactly the same for me too.
I also have the USB drive encrypted as well, probably overkill but it makes me happy.
Do you enter your passwords manually?
No, I use KeePass by either using the CTRL-ALT-A function or the right click and Autotype method depending on the way the site works.
I keep notes in the KeePass entry regarding what to do for each site as like set the focus or how to handle sites that have separate pages for User Name and Password.

EDIT
Oh, I just realized you were probably asking if I let KeePass pick the password or if I make my own.
I do a mixture of both.
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Blues
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Blues »

AnnetteLouisan wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:16 pm I just write the passwords down. No, not on the back of my hand (that’s for phone numbers and grocery lists), I use a sheet of paper called “Passwords.” It’s old school, but it works.
It's best to keep that list directly under your computer keyboard or laptop. So you don't forget where it is.


:mrgreen:
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anthonyphamy
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by anthonyphamy »

Bitwarden, very happy with it.
hoofaman
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by hoofaman »

Yes but that's not the most important thing.

Do you use MFA (2 factor) for your important accounts? Your most important account is probably your email address because that account can be used to gain access to all other accounts which use it.
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by MGBMartin »

Blues wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:25 pm
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:16 pm I just write the passwords down. No, not on the back of my hand (that’s for phone numbers and grocery lists), I use a sheet of paper called “Passwords.” It’s old school, but it works.
It's best to keep that list directly under your computer keyboard or laptop. So you don't forget where it is.


:mrgreen:
No, I’d forget that it was under the keyboard.
I make post it notes and stick them to the side of the screen so they will be in plain sight.
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by bertilak »

I used KeePass fora long time but heard so much about LastPass I gave it a try. Now I us it instead of KeePass. It is simply more convenient. ID/PW are memorized automatically as you use them, and they get filled in automatically the next time you go to the web page from which they were memorized. With KeePass I had to look things up then cut-n-paste. I see there is an add-on to KeePass to autofill but just looking at the directions on how to use it scared me away! Seemed very complicated.
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Blues
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Blues »

MGBMartin wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:31 pm
Blues wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:25 pm
AnnetteLouisan wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:16 pm I just write the passwords down. No, not on the back of my hand (that’s for phone numbers and grocery lists), I use a sheet of paper called “Passwords.” It’s old school, but it works.
It's best to keep that list directly under your computer keyboard or laptop. So you don't forget where it is.


:mrgreen:
No, I’d forget that it was under the keyboard.
I make post it notes and stick them to the side of the screen so they will be in plain sight.
That got a snort. :sharebeer
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by cacophony »

Joyful wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:30 pm IMO it's just a matter of time before Password managers are hacked too.
Is there a single security expert anywhere who recommends against using a password manager?
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Strifey »

jebmke wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 2:18 pm There are many good ones. The one I use is called Keepass

https://keepass.info/

I can keep the file and program on a USB drive

Many of the popular ones are online. I'm sure others will chime in with their favorite.
This is what I use as well, works perfect for me.
Exhilarate
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Exhilarate »

Another vote for Lastpass. They've finally started to improve the form filler on Edge/Chrome desktop browsers after years of stagnation. Can't go wrong with any of the other popular choices though... I'm just staying with LP out of habit.
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by heywhoathere »

Joyful wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:30 pm IMO it's just a matter of time before Password managers are hacked too.
In theory it shouldn't matter if a password manager service gets compromised as long as it's implemented things correctly and only stores encrypted info server-side. AFAIK most of the popular services are pretty open about how they handle encryption/decryption and what's stored client-side vs server-side.
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by BolderBoy »

KeepassXC here. I like that it doesn't need the .NET framework. Is cross platform.

Been using a password manager since 2007.
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by evelynmanley »

random_walker_77 wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 2:46 pm I use bitwarden. It's well-regarded, undergoes regular security audits, and makes it easy to generate secure passwords and unique usernames (https://bitwarden.com/help/generator/). They allow you to have unique strong passwords, unique usernames for each site, and autofill into valid sites. This last point means that if it won't autofill, you need to doublecheck that you're not on a spoofed phishing website.

I was happy with the free plan, but upgraded last year to the $10/yr plan in order to support it and for more secure file transfer (as compared to email attachments).
+1 I use Bitwarden on a family plan with both of my adult children. I can't compare it to other password managers because it's the first one I've used, but my daughter is a systems architect and very savvy about security, and this is the one she chose. We use Authy for 2FA with Bitwarden.
Last edited by evelynmanley on Tue Jul 19, 2022 5:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by SnowBog »

cacophony wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:50 pm
Joyful wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:30 pm IMO it's just a matter of time before Password managers are hacked too.
Is there a single security expert anywhere who recommends against using a password manager?
I'll bite... Yes, I'm sure there is. But they'd probably recommend going "passwordless" using something like a FIDO key instead. Unfortunately, that's just not practical for everywhere yet (too few sites support).
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mmse
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by mmse »

tarheel91 wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 3:12 pm Trivial stuff is on lastpass. Non-trivial accounts (about 4 financial accounts) are on local keepassxc.
BolderBoy wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 5:21 pm KeepassXC here. I like that it doesn't need the .NET framework. Is cross platform.
Been using a password manager since 2007.
How did you arrive at trusting KeePassXC? My imperfect solution was to restrict its access to Internet. With Windows Firewall on Windows and with a custom Apparmor profile on Linux. This still leaves a hole around its the browser extension, which is admittedly very, very convenient. Any thoughts?
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tuningfork
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by tuningfork »

I have been using password managers for about 15 years. I currently use Bitwarden but have also used Lastpass, Keepass, and a couple of other early ones that I don't recall.

Any of the password managers people recommend here should be acceptable from a security standpoint. You should choose one based on features you need or want. Consider things like sharing passwords with family members, availability across all the devices and browsers you use, local vs cloud storage, desire for 2FA on the password manager itself, etc. Most are free, some are subscription based or require a subscription for some features.

Pretty much all of them support exporting/importing from/to a CSV file. It only takes a few minutes to move all your passwords from one password manager to another, so you can try several to see which you like best.
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by SnowBog »

OP - honestly what matters more is what you'll actually use that meets your needs.

For most people who want to be able to use multiple devices with ease, potentially spanning computers, tablets, and mobile devices - that's going to limit options. You'd want to look at a "service" that supports the devices you care about.

You'll also want to think about convenience and usability. Some of the options have easy "extensions" into well known browsers, making it seamless to generate new complex passwords and enter your saved passwords for you.

Next you get to "features" - which might include things like "sharing" passwords with others (in particular spouse or other family members). Which also assumes that you follow best practices of each user having their own login on devices (with the insane exception of iOS - which amazingly still does not support this option). Some of the options include a "family" plan, allowing multiple users to have their own unique account with their own passwords - but includes the ability to "share" as well.

Down that features path, you might find benefit in things like "emergency access". For example, I'm aware of at least one option that allows you to designate an "emergency contact" (presumably spouse/partner) who can gain access to ALL of your passwords in an "emergency" (such as if you are incapacitated or deceased).

But that circles back to what you'll actually use. Most of the above means "installing" something on your devices (even if it's just a browser extension).

Having said all that, I've been very impressed with the built-in password management capabilities of Microsoft's Edge browser and/or their Authenticator app, including on mobile devices (iOS and Android). These are "synced" so you can use one or the other (such as just the Edge browser or just the Authenticator app with a different browser) or both together. The Authenticator app can also work with "other" apps, so when a mobile app needs me to login, the Authenticator app can do so for me (and also use biometric validation like fingerprint/face scan). I use these daily, IMHO great ease of use (better than others I've tried), great security (using biometrics - and helping move towards a "passwordless" model), and all priced at free.

But Microsoft's solution lacks the "shared" and "emergency contact" features. So I still use the Family version of LastPass running in parallel - they both have the same accounts & passwords, with the exception of the "shared" ones. However, that "what you use" comes back into play. I've recently noticed that my family is not using LastPass (for security - you need to revalidate the device every 30 days or so - they don't...). Since the passwords I "shared" with them are now already saved in Microsoft Edge/Authenticator, they don't "need" LastPass. Which likely means in an "emergency", my spouse wouldn't be able to access the app to trigger their access anyway...

Bottom line - use a password manager - many great options - just pick one that you'll use!
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by afan »

bertilak wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:38 pm I used KeePass fora long time but heard so much about LastPass I gave it a try. Now I us it instead of KeePass. It is simply more convenient. ID/PW are memorized automatically as you use them, and they get filled in automatically the next time you go to the web page from which they were memorized. With KeePass I had to look things up then cut-n-paste. I see there is an add-on to KeePass to autofill but just looking at the directions on how to use it scared me away! Seemed very complicated.
I do not integrate my password manager with the browser. I always need to cut and paste to enter username and password. I would not want a manager that would autofill. There have been hacks of systems like that.

Actually typing in manually essentially requires using weak passwords. Mine are long random character strings with upper and lower case letter, numbers, ASCII characters. They would be painful to type in by hand. Full of errors and frustrating. Multiple failures would lock me out

To get my passwords someone would need to get their hands on my computer, enter that password, find the password manager, get through that password and then understand the cryptic entries to know what to try at which site. Sure, it could happen, but safer than having the file online or integrated with a browser.
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Vulcan
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Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by Vulcan »

afan wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 6:19 pm
bertilak wrote: Tue Jul 19, 2022 4:38 pm I used KeePass fora long time but heard so much about LastPass I gave it a try. Now I us it instead of KeePass. It is simply more convenient. ID/PW are memorized automatically as you use them, and they get filled in automatically the next time you go to the web page from which they were memorized. With KeePass I had to look things up then cut-n-paste. I see there is an add-on to KeePass to autofill but just looking at the directions on how to use it scared me away! Seemed very complicated.
I do not integrate my password manager with the browser. I always need to cut and paste to enter username and password. I would not want a manager that would autofill. There have been hacks of systems like that.

Actually typing in manually essentially requires using weak passwords. Mine are long random character strings with upper and lower case letter, numbers, ASCII characters. They would be painful to type in by hand. Full of errors and frustrating. Multiple failures would lock me out

To get my passwords someone would need to get their hands on my computer, enter that password, find the password manager, get through that password and then understand the cryptic entries to know what to try at which site. Sure, it could happen, but safer than having the file online or integrated with a browser.
Password autofill protects you from falling victim to sophisticated phishing attacks.

And if your computer is pwned, you're SOL regardless of what password manager you use.
If you torture the data long enough, it will confess to anything. ~Ronald Coase
David_w
Posts: 145
Joined: Sat Feb 09, 2019 8:20 am
Location: South Florida

Re: Do you use a password manager?

Post by David_w »

I use an Excel file that is password protected
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