Password Security Managers

We have watched many computer users reach a login page and then open a drawer, look under a desk calendar, open their organizer, or pull out their wallet and find a list of user names and passwords so they could login. We ourselves have been guilty and have over 160 user names and passwords to manage. It simply can't be done without a list of some kind.

The temptation at first is to use the same user name and password everywhere, and this might work for a while. But there are sites that demand a "strong" password, using cardinal numbers, both upper and lower case letters, high level symbols (#$%&*), and possibly punctuation marks. And you have to change them every 180 days. Dang it, now we need a list.

To save time and bother, we set our computers to remember the login information so that next time we navigate to the site we can click on the user name field, select the correct entry, and the operating system does the rest. Simple, yes, but begging to become a victim of fraud, abuse and identity theft. In fact, the auto remember and fill function probably makes you less secure than the list of user names and passwords in your wallet, although we don't recommend the latter either. We are being bombarded by attacks and, thanks to whatever security software that came bundled with your PC or laptop, are largely unaware of it. But if we are not proactive, we will lose a game we aren't even aware we are playing.

Simply put, from the first time you navigated the web until this very moment, you have been increasingly exposed to malware designed to capture and transmit every keystroke dedicated to filling in a form (key loggers) and programs designed to go to an exact location on your registry where your user names and passwords are stored and transmit them to China, North Korea, India, Rumania, Germany, or possibly just across town. Ecommerce fraud and identity theft is a cottage industry these days, made acceptable by the collapse of Judeo-Christian ethics and simple morality across recent generations and the potentially huge profits to be made by being a soulless pariah.

The lesson in all of this is that at some point we all need a secure password manager, a program that lists all your passwords in an encrypted file or database and protects the whole thing with a "super-password" -- the only one you need to remember. Annd that's what this paage iis all about.

Empathy

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Empathy is a special utility allowing you to password-protect any executable file by modifying it to require a password to run. Only a person knowing the password will be allowed to run the protected program.

Protected files stay protected if you copy them to another location or even to another computer, no matter which operating system they might use.Empathy allows you to protect potentially dangerous programs against running by an unauthorized person. You can use it to protect executable files in public places like schools, internet coffees or even homes.

The program runs on any Windows system from 95 through Vista. Windows 7 support is expected soon.

Although the program is free, it only allows you to assign a single character password. To free it to create long, complex passwords, you must register the program by sending the program's developer a picture postcard (he lives in Slovakia). Upon receipt, he will send you an unlocking code by email. This is a great gimmick for a postcard collector

Download: Here
Systems: Windows NT 3.51 & 4, Windows 95, 98, Me, 2000, XP, Server 2003, and Vista


Identity Finder

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If you use a computer, you probably have many passwords. If you have bought anything online, you probably entered a credit card number at least once. Both your passwords and credit card numbers are probably still on your computer, vulnerable to identity theft and fraud. With Identity Finder, you can search files that commonly contain this sensitive information -- Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Adobe PDF, text, html, and rtf.

Once found, powerful removal tools can permanently delete files, remove passwords from Firefox and Internet Explorer, and secure sensitive information. Use additional built-in security tools like the Identity Finder File Vault and Shredder to make sure your identity is safe on your computer.

This program comes in both free and paid versions. The paid versions can do a more extensive search of your computer. But the free version targets the most common hiding places. When installing, read the prompts carefully. Be sure to select the free version.

Download: Here
Systems: Windows XP, Vista and 7


KeePass

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The active computer user needs to remember many passwords. Everyone knows you should use different passwords for each account, and the passwords should be "strong" (long and complex). If you use only one password everywhere and someone obtains it by any means (and there are many), you have a potentially monumental problem.

KeePass is a free open source password manager, which helps you to manage your passwords in a secure way. You can put all your passwords in one database, which is locked with one master key or key file. But from then on you only have to remember one single master password or select the key file to unlock the whole database. The databases are encrypted using the best and most secure encryption algorithms currently known (AES, Rijndael and Twofish).

KeePass has the most impressive security features we have seen in a password manager program. KeePass is portable. It can be carried on an USB memory stick and runs on Windows systems without being installed. However, installer packages are available for those who like to have shortcuts in their Windows start menu and on the desktop.

KeePass doesn't store anything on your system. The program doesn't create any new registry keys and it doesn't create any initialization files (INI) in your Windows directory. Deleting the KeePass directory or using the uninstaller leaves no trace of KeePass on your system. It even encrypts while running, so anything in memory is also encrypted.

KeePass 2.10 Installer EXE for Windows is the latest version if you want to install it on your computer. If not, Portable KeePass 2.10 ZIP Package unpacks it to your favorite location (USB memory stick). KeePass runs without any additional installation and won't store any settings outside the application directory. Second party versions are available for iPhone, Blackberry, J2ME, PocketPC, Linux, Mac, and other platforms, but these are not certified by the KeePass developers.

Download: Here
Systems:Windows 98, 98SE, ME, 2000, XP, 2003, Vista, 7, Mono (Linux, Mac OS X, BSD...)


LastPass

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If you do much of anything online, you'll soon have a collection of user names and passwords that is difficult at best to manage, let alone remember. Luckily, you can lock this information up securely encrypted and access it whenever and wherever needed.

Once installed, it will intercede whenever you register a user name and password. From then on, you simply log into LastPass and click to open a site. It really is that simple. It replaces your browser's password manager and can import data from other managers.

Because you no longer have to recall and type simple, easily remembered passwords, you're free at last to create those strong passwords you should have been creating all along. And because everything resides online in an encrypted vault, it runs with any version of Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome, or whatever you use. It automatically synchronizes your data when it changes and protects you against phishing scams, online fraud and malware.

Download: Here
Systems: Windows (not further specified), Mac, Linux


Password Safe

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Password Safe allows you to safely and easily create a secure, encrypted user name/password list. With Password Safe all you have to do is create and remember a single "Master Password" of your choice in order to unlock and access your entire user name/password list.

Password Safe allows you to manage your old passwords and easily and quickly generate, store, organize, retrieve, and use complex new passwords, using password policies that you control. Once stored, your user names and passwords are just a few clicks away.

Using Password Safe you can organize your passwords using your own customizable references -- for example, by user ID, category, web site, or location -- and group them in memory-friendly directories you create -- email accounts, banking, news groups, gaming, etc. You can choose to store all your passwords in a single encrypted master password list (an encrypted password database), or use multiple databases to further organize your passwords (work and home, for example). And with its intuitive interface you will be up and running in minutes.

Download: Here
Systems:Windows NT 3.51 & 4, Windows 2000, XP, Vista, and Windows 7


Password Wiz

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Password Wiz is a password manager and a bit more. Besides memorizing your passwords and storing them with strong encryption, it allows one-click logins from the IE toolbar. It generates unbreakable passwords you don't have to remember and backs up and restores your passwords should your hard drive crash or get virally infected. Should your computer have been delivered a key-logging spyware program when you downloaded some music from some shady site, Password Wiz will defeat it by filling in password and account information without using the keyboard.

Two unique features of password Wiz is the ability to automate routine browsing activities and provide one-click automatic file upload to myspace, youtube, flickr, etc.

It supports multiple page login routines (a lot of banks now use these) and allows one-click login to your saved accounts, but the free trial version only allows you to save 10 accounts.

Download: Here
Systems: Windows XP and Vista