using password manager software vs using an encrypted Microsoft excel/word file

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Sossity, Oct 14, 2013.

  1. Sossity, Oct 14, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2013

    Sossity macrumors 65816

    May 12, 2010
    I asked something similar, and had some suggestions on password software, but since I am already using MS word & MS excel, it would be a little tedious to start again entering all this stuff into something else, also a standalone app is a little expensive now, where as I already have MS office with word & excel, but I will by an app if it is alot better than what I am using now, I also would need the app to be cross platform.

    which would be better? so far I have been using Microsoft word .doc to store a list of all my passwords. I also have an excel file with passwords as well, can these be safely encrypted? or would a dedicated password management software be better?

    I ask about how secure encrypting a Microsoft word of excel document is, because I see numerous articles on how to decrypt them, & Microsoft has an article about decrypting as well as encrypting. Wouldn't someone or something just have to Google these articles to decrypt my passwords if in the unfortunate chance they got into the wrong hands?

    if I use specific password software, I would like to be able to use it on other computers besides my own, if I find I have to use a someone elses or public computer.
  2. b06tmm macrumors regular


    Jul 23, 2009
    South Louisiana
    I personally like the password manager solution and use 1Password. I have all of my passwords synced between my iMac, rMBP, MBA, Mac mini, iPad and iPhone with this program.

    Putting your trust in a password protected document is futile because I can get the password in a matter of seconds.
  3. benthewraith macrumors 68040


    May 27, 2006
    Miami, FL
    You can use TrueCrypt to encrypt your documents, as opposed to buying some expensive encryption software. If you're looking for something to keep passwords online an alternative of 1Password is Lastpass. To be honest, TrueCrypt is, in my opinion, an essential app. Create an encrypted disk image and drop your tax documents which might have things like your SSN (or equivalent). You can even hide documents within the container itself so if you're in a compromising situation, you can give a duress password.

    I would not use Microsoft's built-in file protection.
  4. bobfitz14 macrumors 65816


    Oct 14, 2008
    I'm in the same boat as the thread title suggests. I've been googling a bit and now know how to password protect (and encrypt) a Word document, as well as how to protect (without encryption) an Excel workbook.

    I'm considering making a protected Word document for some confidential information I've needed to digitally store for the sake of security. I looked into 1Password and it seems great and all, however I don't know if I really need to shell out $25.

    A post above suggests that getting the password to an encrypted Word document takes seconds, but I'm willing to call BS on that. Googling around leads to recommending softwares that are designed to do that so that you don't have to do it manually, without mentioning how something like this is done.


    Before you say it: I know google doesn't provide all the answers.
  5. SandPebble macrumors regular

    Oct 18, 2012
    If you are considering 1Password, check out LastPass.
  6. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    I use OneSafe. It's much cheaper than 1Password, lacks a few features, but overall does the same thing. The developer hangs around here.

    Using a password manager is just more efficient, especially when you have a lot of accounts to deal with. And as far as security goes, it's even better because you can have double-protection and multiple passwords.

    Plus, you can do backups, and do them often, and they're all encrypted.

    This is my setup basically:

    Screen Shot 2014-04-18 at 12.31.51 AM.png

    I don't mind too much about my passwords in general, so I didn't add an additional password, however both my finance and identification tabs do have one.
  7. Primejimbo macrumors 68040

    Aug 10, 2008
    I just got 1Password since it's 50% off. I been watching this for way too long, done lots of research on them (an others) and they just seem like they are the best out there.

    I got my daughter the on for her Macbook and I'll be setting that up this weekend for her.
  8. Okta macrumors newbie

    Apr 20, 2014
    From an encryption point of view a password protected word file is essentially worthless to someone who knows what they are doing. Password managers use much stronger encryption however you do need to be careful. If the application stores to the cloud you need to make sure that its sent, received and stored on the cloud as securely as it encrypts the file on your Mac. Its all in the Algorithm, several are broken yet still in use (though this somewhat rare). Think of it like a lockbox, its great that you stored your data in a safe at home but if your transporting it in a lunch box the safe doesn't have a point.

    I never personally looked into password managers (especially after the LastPass snafu) but if you do just make sure to do a quick security audit or research and article on someone who did.

    Best of luck!

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