Tails above the Rest, Part III


One of the final security tools included with Tails makes the most sense if you happen to have the persistent disk enabled. KeePassX allows you to keep track of user names and passwords securely for any accounts you may have within a single encrypted file. The idea here is that you can pick a single, secure password that you can remember to decrypt this database. You can choose really difficult passwords (or have KeepassX generate random passwords for you based on character sets and lengths that you configure) and have KeepassX load the password into your clipboard so you can paste it into a login prompt without even seeing it.

To launch KeePassX, click Applications→Accessories→KeePassX, and click File→New Database to create a brand-new password database. If you are using a persistent disk, be sure you store the password database within the Persistent folder. The password database is protected by a passphrase, so select a nice secure password that you can remember for this database. Once the database is open, you then can select the appropriate category for your password and create new entries for each account. Once you are done and close KeePassX, if you didn't remember to save your changes, it will prompt you before it closes.

Hopefully you now are well on your way to secure, anonymous Internet use. The nice thing about Tails is that it's simple enough to use that you can share Tails disks with friends who may not be all that familiar with security and know they will gain an extra level of protection. Although this is the last column in my Tails series, you can expect more columns about security and privacy from me in the future.


Kyle Rankin is a director of engineering operations in the San Francisco Bay Area, the author of a number of books including DevOps Troubleshooting and The Official Ubuntu Server Book, and is a columnist for Linux Journal.

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