The increasing number of services on the Internet also means an increasing number of login data. If you want to use a different password for each login, password managers like the free open source tool KeePass can help you keep track of everything. KeePass is available for Windows, macOS, and Linux, and mobile use under iOS and Android is also possible.
Passwords under control with KeePass
All login data is entered into the KeePass database and is then securely available. The database itself is protected by a password. Users therefore only need to remember this password to gain access to their data. KeePass uses 256bit Rijndael encryption to secure the database. So, the passwords are secure in the database but easily accessible. Users also benefit from the fact that the credentials can also be copied via the clipboard. Thus, secure passwords can also be used, which can then be easily copied.
Use entries in the database quickly and easily
After starting KeePass, the password database is opened, the password is entered, and the user navigates to the desired entry. Of course, you can create multiple databases that use different passwords. If an entry in the database is clicked, KeePass displays the associated data. If the URL where the password is used has also been entered, the website can be opened directly from KeePass. The default browser on the system is used for this purpose.
By double-clicking on the “Password” column, passwords are copied to the clipboard. The password is stored in the clipboard for a few seconds. After that, it will be deleted. Using the context menu or other ways to paste, passwords can be used in the windows without typing them yourself. The number of seconds that the password is available in the clipboard can be set via “Tools Options” at “Automatically clear clipboard” on the “Security” tab.
Using KeePass on the iPhone or iPad
With the app “MiniKeePass – Secure Password Manager” the data of KeePass can also be used on the smartphone or tablet. For mobile access, however, the database must then be available on the smartphone. This can be done, for example, by synchronizing cloud storage. If the Dropbox client and MiniKeePass have been installed on the iPhone, the database can be accessed from MiniKeePass.
This is done by opening the KeePass file in the Dropbox app on the iPhone or iPad. This also works for other cloud storage. Using Dropbox as an example, the file can be downloaded with “Export”. However, this also works for most other cloud storage and their app on smartphones and tablets. The file can then be transferred to KeePass with “Open in” and “Copy to MiniKeePass”. The MiniKeePass app then opens the database.
In order to keep the data on the mobile device up-to-date, it is necessary to ensure that the password database on the PC is synchronized via cloud storage. In a similar way, this also works with other cloud storage.
Alternatively, you can also use the “KPDataSave (Dropbox)” PlugIn. This PlugIn allows you to save data directly to Dropbox without having to go through the Dropbox client. However, there are also a variety of other ways to transfer the database to mobile devices.
Using KeePass on Android devices
Android, of course, also supports the use of KeePass. Here, too, there are corresponding apps. One example of this is the KeePassDroid app. Here, too, the password file has to get to the smartphone somehow, for example manually, by mail, or via cloud storage. KeePassDroid supports OneDrive and Google Drive. With these two cloud storages, the data can be transferred particularly easily. To do this, KeePassDroid is started and logged into the cloud storage.
KeePass on the Mac – KeePassX
KeePass can also be used in macOS. Various apps are available for this that can handle KeePass databases. A well-known example of this is KeePassX. If users install the tool, they can also use their database here, for example, mobile with the Macbook. For this purpose, Dropbox is also used for synchronization, for example, as with access via iPhone and Android. Users can also use MacPass. Both apps can use KeePass databases, and the usage is similar.
Encrypt data with Boxcryptor
To encrypt the database for KeePass in the cloud, Boxcryptor can be used on the computer, for example. The tool encrypts files before they are uploaded to the cloud. To use KeePass on the move, the Boxcryptor app can be used for the corresponding system, for example. Via this, users can access encrypted data in the cloud storage, including KeePass data.
Using KeePass on the network
KeePass can also be used on a network, even by multiple employees. To do this, of course, the password file must be shared on the network, for example, via a network drive. Several users can read the data in the file, but only one employee is allowed to write to the file at a time. KeePass is therefore not network-compatible by itself, but with a little effort, it can certainly be used in a team.
Of course, each employee can use their own password file and in parallel store team data in the file for shared access. Via the lock icon in KeePass, access can be blocked for other users, but also for other users on the same PC. When activated, KeePass is minimized, and access to the data is not possible again until the password is re-entered. KeePass also offers a search field that can be used to search for entries.
Extensions for KeePass can be downloaded via the menu item “Extras\PlugIns”. Various extensions can be found on the KeePass PlugIns website. Plugins are for example able to backup the database of KeePass regularly or to synchronize with Dropbox, OneDrive, or Google Drive. PlugIns are downloaded as a PLGX file. Integration is done by copying the file into the PlugIns directory. The plugins are automatically read in when the program restarts. Mostly PlugIns can be found in the menu item “Extras”.