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I had to come to terms with my increasing number of PINs, bank accounts, temporary passwords, credit cards and had to write the information down on a piece of paper.

What is your preferred secure way to store this kind of information? I used to have it stego'd in my phone book, but this doesn't allow for a lot of info stored and my system started to be very confusing.

Do you keep it online (is there a safe place online?!), offline, crypto'd or just zipped, stego'd in some image or text file, etc...

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Duplicate -… – Iain Jan 13 '10 at 14:40
Would be nice if it was just passwords... – Lorenzo Jan 13 '10 at 14:51

What about using: ? (as the page says: "free, open source, light-weight and easy-to-use")| Personally, for the most of the times, I use a truecrypted 'file' with all the text files and so on. On my phone, I just encrypt/hide the files so no one can find else they know the phone OS, original files and my mind perfectly. :) (You can really play around if you get root permissions on a smart phone and got a cute file explorer. And also, you can get the codes out easily if YOU know the way.)

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Many applications for this. I use PWsafe - open source and endorsed by security maven Bruce Schneier.

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I worry about this more if I were to die- how would my wife know any of my passwords?

My solution was to take an old USB flash drive and save the data as plain text. No encryption, no secrecy, just a mypasswords.txt right in the root of the drive. That drive is then stored in a secure place that only she and I really have access to.

The reason for the plain text is that I don't want my wife to have to worry about encryption, encryption passwords, corrupt Word or Excel documents, etc. This way she can read it on any machine without having to jump through hoops first.

Good luck!

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Why not take it one step further and just print a hard copy? That way you don't have to worry about the flash drive dying either. – ThatGraemeGuy Jan 13 '10 at 14:36
how do you stop backup copies etc of the file being put on your hard disk? – Ian Ringrose Jun 2 '10 at 10:27
If you die, then the person who inherits your estate (presumably your wife) will be able to present your bank with your death certificate. The bank will then turn over control of your account to her. – SecurityMatt Aug 28 '12 at 2:53

I keep a notebook with all of this information in my fireproof safe.

The combination to this safe is kept in a wax-sealed envelope in my safe deposit box, which the executor of my estate may access in the event of my death.

I have no trouble quickly remembering the important PINs and passwords--all others can wait to be looked up.

I spend about two hours, once a month, reading through the notebook and making sure everything is up to date.

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Best way = in your head (and in that of your significant other / trusted person).

Others include:

  • on paper in a lock box
  • on an encrypted file on a couple of different computers (at least one offsite) Zip / RAR is fine as long as you choose a real encryption option to protect (like AES) and not just a password. TrueCrypt is your friend.

Fact: MS Office passwords are easily crackable, thus garbage

If you use an online file storage service/mechanism that offers encryption, make sure it allows you to generate and manage your own encryption keys so that their employees can't get your keys and snoop around in your data.

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I like the TrueCrypt solution. An encrypted file stored online (like on Google Docs) could be safe then you'd have to download and decrypt every time. – Lorenzo Jan 13 '10 at 14:52
MS Office passwords were easily crackable... I heard it does AES-256 now. – grawity Jan 13 '10 at 17:51


This blog post and a linked podcast go into a lot of detail about why this is secure.

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Use KeePass and keep the database itself in a DropBox / LiveMesh folder. That way its accessible from anywhere, but encrypted so its useless to anyone but you.

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I just store them in a .txt (possibly, but not always, on my raid 1 volume rather than the raid 0).. All my hard drives are encrypted with AES so it shouldn't be a big concern.

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I found Norton Internet Security 2010 to be a great place to store confidential information such as usernames and passwords for various sites. NIS has come a long way in the past 2 years.

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