Forgot My Master Password?
Posted by Gyle Iverson on 2012/10/17 19:38
Your master password needs to be changed periodically just like your other passwords to keep you secure. Everyone asks me, “What happens if I forgot my master password?”. This post explains how we keep your passwords safe, even from you.
A Terrible Thing to Forget
We have observed that most people forget their master password within 12-18 hours after it changes. The master password is often changed in the evening and forgotten by the next morning. The password made perfect sense last night, right? That was then. This is now.
I need my passwords, please. What was that password? What you need is a way is to recover your passwords even if you forget your master password.
Trust Someone With a SpareKey
The MagicKey developers included a SpareKey feature. You can give your SpareKey to one or more friends, family members, or colleagues. The MagicKey concept of a SpareKey is more secure than putting an extra key under a potted plant or giving someone an extra key.
Once you give someone your MagicKey SpareKey, you can let them unlock your MagicKey, even if you forget your master password.
What Does a SpareKey Do?
Much like OnStar can unlock your car if you get locked out, you can set up a SpareKey buddy and give them the right to unlock your smartphone from their smartphone.
Relax. Don’t worry. Your SpareKey buddy never sees or knows your user names and passwords. Instead your SpareKey buddies store a unique special code assigned just to them that can be sent by their smartphone to your smartphone when needed. (The special code is over 2000-bits of un-crack-able information.)
How Do I Use It?
If you forget your master password, call your SpareKey buddy and ask them to unlock MagicKey for you. You probably figured this out, but we’ll mention it anyway. Tell your SpareKey buddies to never act on an SMS message or E-mail message asking to unlock your phone. Good SpareKey buddies always insist on voice confirmation before unlocking their buddy’s smartphone.
After your SpareKey buddy presses the Unlock your smartphone button on their smartphone, the special code is sent to your smartphone. Their code is received and combined with additional information by your smartphone to produce your master password. Presto! Your smartphone is unlocked and you are immediately taken to the master password change screen.
New SpareKey Automatically Issued
After you enter a new master password, a new special code is assigned and sent to your SpareKey buddy (or buddies) to replace the previous special code. And your SpareKey buddies are ready once again to help should you forget your latest master password.
Forgetting your master password is annoying and perhaps a little embarrassing. We are human. Make sure you pick trustworthy SpareKey buddies that will unlock you. Maybe they will want you to unlock them too. It can be a two-way trust, or not.