Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Dang, That’s Cool

Passwords suck. Srsly.

In an effort to completely screw up my online existence, I decided I need to perform some password hygiene. So I have undertaken a project to provide all of my online personae with good passwords. “What is a good password?” I pretend to hear you ask? I’ll tell you.

It’s a password that’s so full of random crap that you can’t remember it. Bruce Schneier says you should write it down on a piece of paper and stuff it into your wallet, since we are all in fact pretty good at physically securing our pocket money.

But I can’t write small enough to write down all the passwords I need, so I went looking for a password manager. Additionally, I need the manager to have Windows and Mac OS X versions since I use both of those platforms every single day.

A bit of research led me to KeePass Password Safe. I gave it a shot and it looks good. Next, I worked on how to transport my passwords around with me. KeePass has portable versions of both Windows and Mac clients, so I copied both of them plus my database onto a thumbdrive.

Now I have to worry about losing and/or breaking my thumbdrive. The canonical fix here is backing up. So I look for a tool to sync a file (or set of files) between my thumbdrive and a machine somewhere. I didn’t find that exactly, but I did find this instead: Windows Live Sync.

There are clients for Windows (duh), but surprisingly enough we have a Mac client as well. Install on all of my relevant machines, set them up to sync a folder with my password safe it in, and now I have an automatically-synced copy of my passwords everywhere I want to go. Victory!