Saturday, January 1, 2011

Password safe for PC and BlackBerry

Are you also drowning in 50+ passwords, PINs, accounts etc. that need to be remembered somehow? More and more websites and applications need to know with whom they are dealing, i.e. require you to login with a safe and unique user/password combinatino. I used to have them in Outlook notes, in encrypted Excel tables, on paper notes and other strange locations. During the 2010 christmas vacation, I decided to clean-up the mess and started using a password safe.

My requirements:
  • Safe
  • Open source (not necessarily free - but that came along with open source)
  • Ability to use on multiple PCs and the BlackBerry (synchronization)
  • Ability to import and export the password database using a variety of formats

Solution: Keepass and Keepass BB
I'm pretty happy with the solution I found, so here is the step-by-step instruction for setting up a password safe incl. BB synchronization:

1. Install keepass V2 on your PC :

2. Install keepass BB V2 on your Blackberry (I choose the "over the air" OTA install): . Leave the configuration settings at the default values, i.e. do not use "external file mode" for the databse.

3. Create a new password database on your PC. Select a path to store the resulting .kdbx file. Assign a master password for this database. Create a few entries.

4. Install the keepass V2 add-in for the BlackBerry Desktop Manager in order to automate the synchronization: . I followed the installation instructions and installed the add-in by downloading and double-clicking the .msi-file. As part of the installation process, the application needs to be configured as a synchronization plugin for the BB Desktop Manager (BBDM).

5. Now you are ready for the synchronization of your password database from the PC to the BlackBerry: in the BBDM-Synchronize menu, check the option to "Run add-in actions". I left the other checkboxes empty since my email etc. is not synchronized via BBDM. Then click on the Synchronize button next to the checkboxes. The add-in will ask for your keepass master password so that it can access the password database. It will then transfer the entries from your PC to your BB.

BBDM synchronization settings

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