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Protect your data and your computer with a secure password


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Do you know the password of your internet router or at least know where to keep it? Do you use different passwords for different applications such as e-mail, online banking, Internet forums, Windows logon or network shares?


How to protect your data and your computer with a secure password
If you answer “no” to both questions, your data and your computer are at risk. With a password concept and the “KeePass” tool, you eliminate all risks. How to protect your data and your computer with a secure password, read in this article.

 

Note the basic rules for a secure password
Regardless of the password: each password should be at least 8, preferably 12 characters long. The password itself should contain uppercase and lowercase letters as well as numbers and special characters. Follow these rules when assigning a password.

No way should you

  1. Use easy-to-guess words, for example; your lovely names, or
  2. Use phone numbers, dates of birth, names, license plates or similar information that is easy to find.

 

Assign a separate password for each application
Never use the same password for multiple applications. This is especially true for

  • Log in to your PC,
  • Access to network shares,
  • Registration on the internet,
  • The protection of accounts, e.g. e-mail or cloud.

 

Keep your passwords in a safe place
Nobody can remember all passwords. This applies in particular to passwords that are rarely required, such as the password for router access. Make a list of your passwords and keep them in a safe place.

No way should you

  1. Save passwords in a text, Excel or Word file and store them on your PC,
  2. Write down passwords on a piece of paper and keep them under the keyboard, on your desk or near the PC.

 

Keep track of all passwords with a password manager
You should use a password manager to implement a secure password concept. The advantage: You only have to remember one password, all other passwords are in the secure safe of your password manager.

One example of a password manager is the “KeePass Classic Edition” tool, which you can use to manage your passwords easily and securely. You can download the current version of "KeePass" free of charge.

To install "KeePass", proceed as follows:

  1. Open Windows Explorer with “Windows key” + “E” and double-click on the “KeePass-Setup.exe” file that you just downloaded.
  2. Select the language, click on "OK" and on "Next".
  3. Select the option "I accept the agreement" and click on "Next".
  4. Confirm the storage location by clicking on “Next”.
  5. For a quick start, select the option "Create desktop icon", click on "Next" and finally on "Install".
  6. Now start "KeePass" by clicking on the desktop icon of the same name.
  7. Click on “Get more languages” and download the English language file “KeePass-1.30-English.zip”. Unzip it and save the file in the folder "C: Program FilesKeePass Password Safe".
  8. Set the language in the upper menu bar by clicking on "View and Change Language ..." Your "KeePass" is now ready for use.

 

Create a secure password safe with "KeePass"
After the installation, start "KeePass" by clicking on the desktop icon of the same name. Use the commands “File” and “New” to create a database in which all passwords are saved.

Enter the main password (master password) for the "KeePass" database. This password acts like a key to a safe and you have access to the "KeePass" data safe.

 

How to securely manage your passwords with "KeePass"
"KeePass" automatically creates five groups in which you can sort your passwords, for example "Windows" for your login password or "Homebanking" for the username and password of your house bank.

If you now want to enter a password for an application, click on the key symbol "Add entry". Enter your username and password here. Enter the password twice for security reasons. Below you enter the URL, i.e. the website for which you need the password.

If you want to call up a password-protected website or a program, start "KeePass" and enter the master password. In the left column, open the group in which you entered the access data. In the right window click on the corresponding entry in "KeePass" with the right mouse button and select "Open URL". The website or applications will open.

 

Follow these 10 golden rules for strong passwords
Before you start managing your passwords with "KeePass", use the following checklist to check whether your passwords are really secure:

  1. Never use passwords that are easy to guess. So not your name, your date of birth, the name of your partner, your children or any pets.
  2. Use passwords that are as long as possible. Because the more characters a password has, the more difficult it is to crack. A password should have at least 8, but preferably 12 characters.
  3. Include digits and characters such as commas and colon or a space: Example: "ea / 17.03". In this way, you make it more difficult for crack programs to achieve their goal by simply trying out frequently used or generated passwords.
  4. You make it even more difficult for crack programs if you use passwords without context, such as "KaZdTs-dSsa". However, these are difficult to remember.
  5. Secure passwords are easier to memorize if you remember a suitable saying or phrase to go with it. For example, "BMW - AFaF" then stands for "BMW - For the joy of driving".
  6. Intentionally incorporate typographical errors into your password, for example "NewYorq" instead of "newyork".
  7. Many applications differentiate between upper and lower case when entering passwords. Take advantage of this and vary as you wish.
  8. If possible, use a different password for each application.
  9. Make a habit of changing your password regularly. In this way, if someone peeked over your shoulder while typing, you can prevent further abuse.
  10. Even if your program offers an option to save a password: do not activate it. The price for the convenience is that it is stored somewhere on your hard drive and can therefore be viewed.

 

You can download KeePass in this link: https://keepass.info/download.html

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