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I want to know what the best way is to store secret information (like passwords, passcodes, and ssh keys).

Should it be stored on the computer or written down for a home/office use? What is the best security practice?

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closed as not constructive by Karan, Tog, oKtosiTe, Dave M, Oliver Salzburg Mar 18 '13 at 13:39

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I'm disappointed you removed your other question about making computers "speedy". I had a great answer about the Voyager 2 space probe. ;-) –  paddy Mar 18 '13 at 4:15
You'll have much better luck with site if you ask about the specific issue you face rather than trying to come up with very general questions whose answers you hope will help you solve the actual problem you face. –  David Schwartz Mar 18 '13 at 4:16
I'm sorry, paddy. Although the reason I use this site is because there are caring, helpful, and fun users like you who can help me out. –  Blue Ice Mar 18 '13 at 4:21

3 Answers 3

up vote 0 down vote accepted

When I was going through my security training my teacher told me to write them down and keep it in my wallet. Currently I used an encrypted USB drive with a dual password.

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How secure is your wallet? =) –  paddy Mar 18 '13 at 4:03
Never lost one yet. I can see the value of doing it that way but I keep way too much information not keep it on a USB drive. –  NoNo Mar 18 '13 at 4:10
write them down in wallet with simple human encryption that others cant understand them –  saber tabatabaee yazdi Mar 18 '13 at 4:20

Personally, I use PasswordSafe. It encrypts all my passwords into a database file that I am happy to store on a USB stick or transfer over unsecured connections.

All I have to remember is my passphrase, which is a sentence containing about 40 characters plus punctuation. So I'm confident in its security. Obviously I don't store or write down my passphrase anywhere. It is a special phrase that I will not forget.

As for SSH keys, I keep them separate and encrypt them with a moderate passphrase. I must enter this to load the key into an agent. Maybe I could store them in PasswordSafe too, but it's impractical when I want to use the key. I could store the passphrase in PasswordSafe though.

SSH keys, like passwords, ought to be changed periodically or whenever you believe it may have been compromised.

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Never write passwords down. EVER!

What happens if you lose the paper? What happens if its stolen?

The best thing to do is use a reputable local (to your computer) password manager. Personally I use KeePass, it is available on all Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, BlackBerry, and more.

Personally, I would stay away from online password safes as you do not know what is going on behind the scenes. I do trust them to be reputable (the known ones), but security snafus do happen and you never know if your data is truly protected. That coupled with the fact you dont know if you will wake up tomorrow and find their business is shut down... Your passwords are inaccessible then.

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This is an overreaction. Maybe you could have said "never write down passwords that would hurt you if they were to fall into the wrong hands. EVER!". –  Ziggy Jun 5 '13 at 19:02
What if KeePass sends your passwords to its server? In WEB You never should trust anybody. I use Notepad and .txt FILE. –  UltraDEVV Sep 22 '14 at 22:12
There is no server. All data is stored locally in an encrypted file. –  Keltari Sep 22 '14 at 22:31

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