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If you are a normal computer user, you have passwords coming out of your ears. Think about it: bank PINs, logins, email accounts, alarm codes; they just all add some other random string of letters and numbers that you are supposed to remember.

I used YAPS for a while to keep track of passwords. I liked it, but it didn’t do one thing that I needed (well, wanted really). YAPS doesn’t allow you to generate custom passwords. You write in the password you want, and it is stored. I found myself using a similar password for all sites. They were different, but all were pretty close.

So, out I went looking for another password manager that could generate passwords for me. I found KeyRing. KeyRing is a GPL GNU v2 application (that means it’s free, among other things) by Martin Pool that allows you to store your passwords in categories that you choose. And, everything you enter is encrypted in DES to make it difficult to crack.

Features:

  • All data is stored in DES encryption
  • Ability to generate passwords. The password can be from 4-20 characters long and can include lower and upper case letters, numbers, or special characters ($%^$%^ type stuff). So, you can make them really, really hard to guess. You also have the option to make the password “Pronounceable”. This is supposed to make the password something you can say, which should make it easier to remember.
  • Custom categories
  • Ability to keep the program locked for 15 seconds, 1 minute, or 5 minutes. After that the program locks and you have to use a master password to unlock it.
  • It keeps track of when you last changed records

The only downside I found is the automatic locking of records. I liked that YAPS would ask for a password when you first open the program and then would let you look at any records. KeyRing doesn’t ask for a password when opening the program, but it prompts for the master password when you open records. Not a big deal, but a little annoying.

All considered, I’m glad I made the switch. Too bad there’s not an easy way to move the hundred or so usernames and passwords from YAPS to KeyRing. :-)

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