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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    Questions about MS Security Essentials




    LANGALIST PLUS


    Questions about MS Security Essentials



    By Fred Langa

    A recent anti-malware test report raises reader concerns about the reliability of Microsoft Security Essentials. Plus: A printer prints only in the Wingdings font, one-time-use credit cards for online security, and what happens to your passwords if you let a password-manager subscription lapse.


    The full text of this column is posted at windowssecrets.com/langalist-plus/questions-about-ms-security-essentials/ (paid content, opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

  2. #2
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    Methinks you did not understand the question from Jim Kent about password managers.
    He asked:
    “I just read your article about secure passwords ['Protect yourself from the next big data breach,' Oct. 17 Top Story], and I’m interested in going [the password-manager] route — probably using RoboForm.
    “But what happens to all those long, bullet-proof passwords if I cancel my subscription? How do I get back into the app to change all my passwords back to normal?”

    I think he was asking -- as I also would like to know -- what if you want to discontinue using the password manager? How do you get access to your passwords on your computer? Can you export them from RoboForm and import them into your browser's built-in password managerr, say, FireFox, Chrome, or IE? He also seems to be asking how he can change his passwords from the ones that Roboform created to ones he could actually remember, i.e., "normal"? For the last question, I imagine the answer is to go to each password-protected site, open your account, profile, or settings for the site and change your password. But the first question still remains -- can you export the passwords created in Roboform to your browser's own password manager? This is the question to which I cannot get any answer from the websites of the various password managers you and others have recommended. I hope you or somebody here can offer some insight on this question.

    Thank you.

  3. #3
    WS Lounge VIP access-mdb's Avatar
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    I use LastPass and you can export the details to a csv file. It also has an option to export to Firefox (in the FF browser). Chrome doesn't appear to have an equivalent option. How these work I don't know. However, browser password managers are notoriously insecure, so I personally wouldn't use them.

    Most of my passwords are my choice, I only have one site where I've used the generated password feature, so I know what my passwords are anyway (and I don't have duplicate ones). I assume other password managers will have similar options.

  4. #4
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    Fred --
    Thanks for the thorough coverage of password generators/managers. One thing bothers me (and perhaps others). When I wipe my disk (about every year or so) and reinstall everything, I find that Firefox doesn't remember any of my current log-ins. So, part 1: how do I save the accounts/passwords and re-associate them after a fresh install? Then, part 2: how do RoboForm (and others) work, for re-synchronizing -- would I simply log into their on-line site, re-install some software, and find that I'm set to go? Part 3: I'm using the XMarks plug-in for FireFox, and I'm able to synch it to my laptop, tablet, etc. When I wipe one (eg, my laptop), I seem to be able to re-synch it. Is this generally the way these programs work? And the last part: Can I have a "complete set" of passwords/login's on my main PC, but only synch a subset to a laptop, and maybe a different subset to a tablet? Is there any value (in your opinion) to limiting such auto-login on our more "public" machines, such as tablets? It seems to me that I don't want anyone who picks up my tablet (or to whom I loan it) to get auto-signin to some of my more critical sites.
    Best regards, Paul

  5. #5
    New Lounger
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    I'm only talking about the desktop version of Roboform here - I've never used the 'Everywhere' version, but I suspect the same is true.

    1) You can print a list of all Roboform data so, if you stopped using Roboform completely, you still have all your data. I'm not aware of any way to export the data for use with other password managers, but those others may well have 'import from Roboform' functionality.

    2) You don't have to have Roboform-generated passwords, you can create your own if you prefer. One of the advantages of using a password manager is that it can generate complex passwords (based on rules you can configure) that you don't have to remember - as all you need is the master password.

    3) Roboform is lockable - i.e. you can set all data to require a password before use - and you can decide when that lock is put in place (or you can lock it manually). Your passwords and other data are then only accessible to those who have the master password. I do believe there's a dual password option too, offering the opportunity of two-level access, but I've never used that - so don't quote me on it!

    4) Backing up your Roboform data is as simple as making a copy of the folder which holds the Roboform data .

    I know this hasn't answered all the questions.. but might help a little.

    Cheers
    Darren

  6. #6
    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Use FEBE to backup your FF profile and reapply it after a reinstall>

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