R. Don Schneider protects his passwords by storing them inKeePass. But he also wants to access them on his Android phone.
Everyone on the Internet should use a password manager, and KeePass Password Safe is one of the best. Like all such programs, it stores your passwords in an encrypted database that’s easy to access as long as you remember the master password. But it’s also free, easy to use, and open source. (See Some password managers are safer than others for details.)
But you’re not always at your computer. You’ll inevitably want access to your password database from your smartphone, as well.
There’s no official KeePass Android app, but you’ll find several KeePass-compatible ones. I recommend Keepass2Android, largely because of its exceptional support for Dropbox, Google Drive, and other cloud storage services. With one of these services, you can add new passwords on your PC and have them appear automatically on your phone, and vice versa.
The Windows part of this sharing is extremely simple. For instance, if you use Dropbox, simply keep your database file (the one with the .kdbx extension) in your Dropbox folder.
Things are a little more complicated in Android, which is why you want Keepass2Android to help you smooth them out. The first time you launch the app, tap the Open file button. You’ll find Dropbox (and other cloud options) on the list. It’s all very simple from there. (I’m assuming that you’ve already installed and set up Dropbox on both the PC and the phone.)
But Keepass2Android has one major flaw. Copying usernames and passwords from the app and pasting them elsewhere isn’t as intuitive as it should be. Here’s what to do:
After you’ve opened Keepass2Android, typed in the master password, and gone to the item you need, tap and hold on the User Name until all or part of it is selected. If only part of the name is selected, use the selection handles to select the entire name. Then tap the Copy icon in the upper-right corner.
Go to the app where you want to paste the text–Twitter, Chrome, or whatever. Tap and hold on the appropriate field until the Paste option pops up. Tap that.
For the password, tap the eye icon near the top-right corner to make the password visible. Then follow the same directions as above.
Keepass2Android has another method for pasting user names and passwords, but it involves changing your onscreen keyboard to one that comes with the app. Unless you want to make the Keepass2Android keyboard your default, this can become a hassle.
Freelance journalist (and sometimes humorist) Lincoln Spector has been writing about tech longer than he would care to admit. A passionate cinephile, he also writes the Bayflicks.net movie blog.