Sunday, 20 February 2011

Feeling insecure

Back in the 90's I was pretty sure that there was no way I would ever shop on the internet.

According to my Amazon order history (which goes back all the way...), I made my first online transaction in January 2003. At the time I thought it was a bit risky! In the past 7 years, I've ordered from Amazon 63 times, although over half of those were gifts for other people.

For the past decade I've been avoiding Password Managers for a similar reason - the idea that one piece of software would have access to all that information just freaked me out. But this lead to a more dangerous problem - reusing the same low security password over and over for multiple web sites.

With the start up of our company I've been swamped with new passwords, mostly for server administration both for our company and for clients.

I'm now using KeePass Password Safe, and I have to admit, there's no way I'll go back to managing passwords myself. I now actually think it is safer using the password manager than to reuse the same, low security, passwords all over the place.

(I fuzzed out the details)

I use KeePass on Windows as part of Portable Apps...

You can download portable apps onto a memory stick (or anywhere else on your machine) and you can use all the applications (like KeePass) without ever actually installing them into windows.

This allows you to try all sorts of useful applications without the worry of clogging up and slowing down your computer - and you can just plug in the USB to any machine and use the software you need.

Apologies for the 'technical' blog this week - if you want to read something more interesting then check out our frogs... Garden is alive with sound of croaking


  1. Actually I think that's a very useful post. As an Apple Mac user it's not directly relevant but I do use Windows machines too and so far I've always used encryption programs liberally with very long passwords (up to an alphanumeric sentence long). The result is no memory program = no remember passwords!

  2. It's been a few years now since I last had the opportunity to use a mac. Apparently they ship with a program called Keychain (in application/utilities) which is ideal for this kind of thing. Might be worth a look.

  3. Yes. I use Keychain. It's a brilliant program and so easy to use for all sorts of secure things.

    As an aside, years ago I used PGP Encryption. It was free. Then one day after a computer crash I went to get it to enable me to unlock my backed up files and they had started charging: hundreds of £s. At that time they were one of the few readily available encryption programs.

  4. Interesting - might try that.

    My curiosity was piqued by your post to make me wonder what my first Amazon order was - Decemebr 1999 - The Visit by Loreena McKennitt. I don't recognise the item so it must have been a present.

  5. wow premillennium! That makes me a true internet luddite!

  6. CJ's comment made me curious so I had to look up my first Amazon order: 6 February 2000: Book: The Man Who Listens to Horses: 2 copies. ??

  7. I'm delighted with KeePass - many thanks!