Arcanus 55 Founder

Nick Krause | September 2018

Arcanus 55 | Private Wealth Safe - PIN Encrypted USB

Offline vs. Cloud Password Managers 🔑

Should You Trust Your Passwords in the Cloud? | Consider KeePass

Password Manager on USB | Don't Trust The Cloud

Passwords are the problem. Our digital lifestyle requires us to sign into an ever increasing number of apps, websites, and devices. Our capacity to manage unique passwords is not sustainable. Gone are the days when one could use the same strong password for everything. Because if one site is compromised then you are seriously pwned. To add to the frustration, every site has a slightly different requirement for a valid password (minimum characters, lowercase, numeric, and so on, …). It's maddening.

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The burden of information security has been shifted onto you. Generate passwords with KeePass.

An increasingly popular solution is a password manager. A password manager is software that is secured by one master password and holds secure many passwords. You would access it with your master password then generate a new password for each site/app that you use. Solving the forgotten password problem because you need only remember the one password. It would also stop the temptation to use weak passwords or reuse passwords on multiple sites.

Generally software managers fall into one of two categories: Cloud and Offline. Cloud solutions typically charge a monthly fee and store your passwords remotely on the cloud. Examples of popular cloud based password managers include: Dashlane, RoboForm, LastPass and 1Pass. Offline solutions are usually free (open source) and store your encrypted passwords on your computer. There are pros and cons to both approaches.

Offline Password Manager Cloud Password Manager
PROS CONS
Free Manual Backups
Can be used offline
Open Source
PROS CONS
Cloud Backup Monthly Payment
Synced Devices Requires Internet
Proprietary
Trusted 3rd Party Storage

There are a few popular cloud password managers that can make your life easier. But the price for this convenience is unacceptable risk and loss of control. I am one of many who will not store passwords in the cloud on principle but I will concede that convenience is a very persuasive feature.

A major consideration when evaluating an offline vs. cloud password manager is the ability to share passwords between devices. This one factor has persuaded many normally careful people to store all their passwords on the cloud. It's a trade-off for convenience. No no no no no. If your passwords are on an encrypted USB then it is the essence of portable. Bringing your passwords from your desktop to your laptop is easily done.

Offline requires a little bit more self reliance. But that's how I roll. I would rather take responsibility for my information security than trust an online service. Be safe.

Enter The PIN before inserting the USB into its slot. Do not enter the PIN while the device is connected.

Close all applications before hibernating, suspending, logging off or ejecting the USB device. This is an important step especially if you are using the A55 Key Quest Vault or a software cryptocurrency wallet.

Put the USB Device back in its capsule when not in use. You should remember to seal the capsule and store it in a safe place.

Make sure your are not being watched or recorded by a surveillance camera. Be aware of your surroundings and look behind you.

Do not plug the USB into a suspicious computer. Avoid using a computer that may be infected with malware.