Password Manager Reviews—Password Safe


Ok, so here’s the first of my reviews.  I chose Password Safe because it’s the program that I’ve been using for the past 3 years or so.  As you can see by the link, it’s an open-source program—so anyone can improve upon it.

The way Password Safe works is, you create a “safe” (the data file that your passwords are stored in) and a combination (your “one password to get them all”). Once the safe opens, you can add entries, copy passwords, view/edit the entries, remove entries, and export them to a text file, amongst other features.  One nice thing about Password Safe is that it shows you the username for each entry in [brackets], so you don’t have to remember that portion either.

Getting your password is simple.  You open the group that the entry is in (if it’s grouped), and double click on the entry.  The password is copied to the clipboard. You can also set the passwords to expire, in which case you’ll get a reminder when the program opens the safe for the first time.

The program has a password generator function that uses alphanumeric characters, combination of case, special characters, a set length (my default is 16, but you can change it in the preferences), easy to read characters (no l’s or 1’s or O’s or 0’s, for example), or even pronounceable passwords (although I’m not so sure about the security of these).

A little about the security features of Password Safe.  The program automatically locks the safe after a set period of time (which you can choose).  When it does, it empties the contents of the clipboard—just in case you had a password stored there and forgot about it.  You have to use your combination to reopen the safe.

Another feature that I like is the encryption.  It uses the Blowfish security encryption, which is one of the hardest to crack.  If you forget your safe combination, then your passwords are pretty much dead to you.  I forgot my safe combination at one point (when I first started using the program, and hadn’t used it for a while).  I Googled for password crackers, and everything that I found said that blowfish was virtually impossible to crack.  Lucky for me, something triggered in my head, and I remembered the combination.  Now, I use the manager every day, just so I don’t forget it again.

To me, this is the easiest to use and the most secure free password manager that you’ll find.  In fact, the only reason that I’ve looked at others was for this review.  And the program is available in Linux.

Tomorrow, I’ll reveiw KeyWallet.  Have a great day. 🙂

Patrick.

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