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Encrypting passwords
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October 26, 2011
9:54 AM
Becky
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I keep reading but have not yet found a definitive word on MS Office's encryption. … 

Yes, I still keep my passwords in a password protected, encrypted Excel file. 

I have a truecrypt file I've used with dropbox but it's a pia because of the bigdeal pw I use with truecrypt… so I rarely use it.

Advice, please?

October 26, 2011
10:37 AM
jumbi
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first destroy that excel file!

(keep an unlocked copy of course).

 

then use axcrypt to easily encrypt/decrypt your file (whatever format may be) with right click.

 

works just fine with dropbox as well (no temporary files kept in dropbox, so it is safe).

October 26, 2011
11:33 AM
Becky
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Thank you so much. 

 

Now tell me why so I can learn more than just following instructions.

Like…….

Why isn't excel encryption and pw protection adequate?

Why is axcrypt easier than truecrypt?

 

Bleah…….does that last sentence mean that dropbox keeps an unprotected temp file every time I open/close it?

October 26, 2011
11:51 AM
Ashraf
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Becky said:

Why isn’t excel encryption and pw protection adequate?

Using an Excel file as a place to store all your passwords and then encrypting/password protecting that file is adequate; it is just annoying to use and frankly can be a bit unsafe if you forget to close out the Excel file or if someone is looking over your shoulder and manages to read some of your passwords.

If you will consider it, a better option is a password manager. A password manager will offer you the same secure password storage protection that your current method of using Excel + encryption does but it will be easier to use and prevent people from looking over your shoulder and getting your password(s).

Probably one of the most famous, and frankly one of the best, password managers out there is Roboform. Roboform has a limited free version with the option to upgrade to Roboform Pro. They also have a Roboform Everywhere, but that is just a waste of money $20/year.

Another good option is LastPass. It has a fully functional free version with the option to upgrade to LastPass Premium for more features at about $12/year. See /freeware-reviews/8463/lastpass-allows-you-to-easily-store-manage-and-sync-your-usernames-passwords-and-other-data-like-roboform-pro-but-free/ for more information on LastPass.

A third good option is KeePass, an open source, cross-platform password manager. It isn’t as well browser integrated as the previous two, but it is still nonetheless a good password manager. And its completely free.

October 26, 2011
12:01 PM
Ashraf
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Becky said:

Why is axcrypt easier than truecrypt?
 

Bleah…….does that last sentence mean that dropbox keeps an unprotected temp file every time I open/close it?

AxCrypt is easier because it is designed for individual file encryption whereas TrueCrypt is designed for multiple-file encryption. In other words, if you have only one – or a few – files to encrypt, AxCrypt will make that processes a lot easier than having to mount TrueCrypt partitions each time you want to decrypt something.

In regards to your second question: I suppose that depends. How are you using Dropbox? Are you downloading your file from their website or using the Dropbox sync folder? If you are downloading/uploading via their website then there is no worry about them storing unprotected temp files unless you upload unprotected temp files on their server. If you only upload protected files then you are good to go.

On the other hand, if you are using Dropbox's sync folder that may be a different story. I am not a big user of Dropbox's sync feature but as far as I know it has different intervals where it syncs, with an option of continual sync whenever a file changes. It could happen that while you are viewing your Excel file (i.e. there is an unprotected temp file in the Dropbox folder) the sync occurs and the unprotected temp file is uploaded onto Dropbox. Technically speaking, the next sync when the temp file is no longer there should result in the temp file being deleted on Dropbox but you never know — so you may want to double check that.

October 26, 2011
1:53 PM
Becky
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Thank you.  I am so grateful for the expertise shared and the time it has taken for you to do it.

Have downloaded all 3 password management files at some point in time and even tried to use Keepass a couple of times.  Stuck in a rut I suppose.  No, it’s the obsessive/compulsive junk coupled with an aging memory. I always remember the pw to my excel file and it’s a place to keep old pws I may need someday and relatives pws that I/they may need on my computer, etc.

But I am increasingly leary of using FFoxes pw manager; perhaps since I’m seriously considering moving over to Chrome and I read all this BigBrother stuff about google.  I know it’s near-fact that anyone can learn anything personal they want to know, but I want to make ‘em work for it.  Since I’m not important or wealthy, any private info of mine will be sold some company I trust or stolen from such along with huge chunks of data.

Good to know they why on AxCrypt and your thinking on Dropbox’s sync.

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