One Password to Rule them All

Between work-life and home-life I have about fifty online accounts/usernames/passwords. I’ve finally created a system to manage my username and passwords which is fast and secure. What I’ve done is create an encrypted disk image with a single text file listing all of my passwords. If you’re on a mac, you can use the instructions below.

First though, two important notes:

First, for this disk image you’ll want to create an “uber password” which supersedes all of your current passwords. Even if you’re not normally careful with the types of passwords you use (my father often uses “password” as a password) you’ll want to be sure you use a secure password. If you use at least three letters, three symbols, and three numbers you can be pretty sure that any company/person capable of cracking your password probably has better things to do.

Second, this disk image will be completely secure when unmounted and completely unsecured when mounted. So make sure you use it accordingly; mount the DMG, add/remove/check a password and then unmount the volume. NEVER LEAVE THE VOLUME OPEN.

Now the step-by-step:

1) Go to Disk Utility

2) Click New Image

3) Enter your setting


A few notes on the settings:

Volume Name: do NOT use a name that includes “password”. That way if someone searches your computer for “password” this file will not come up.

Volume Size: I only use this to store a single text document, so I’ve selected 10 MB. But if you want to place other secure information make this volume as large as you ever think you’ll need to avoid having to recreate it.
4) Open KeyChain.
5) Select and Delete the password stored for your newly named disk image. Now you’ll be challenged for a password every time you open this disk image.
6) Open the disk image (i.e. double click the DMG file).
7) Open TextEdit and start a password list.
8) Save that password list to the Volume

9) Eject the volume.
If you’ve chosen a secure password then the Disk Image (DMG file) is completely secure. You can even email it to yourself (quick and easy backup) because the text file with passwords cannot be accessed without the master password.

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