You have a master password, from your password manager, for 28 accounts. Life has been so easy since!

5DBut then you lose this master password. First off, you can’t fix this like you would if you forgot your password for PayPal or your credit card’s site. Plus, each password manager service has a different solution.

Yet how do you lose a master password in the first place? If it’s impossible to remember,then it may not be a good master password, regardless it should be written down somewhere in a secret location.

Lifehacker.com explains the requirements for various password manager services if you actually lose your master password.

Dashlane

  • A lost master password with Dashlane is like, well…imagine your backpack falling into a dark crevasse—gone forever—even if you have applications for your smartphone for Dashlane.
  • You’ll need to create a new account or reset the existing account, but either way, you must start from scratch.

1Password

  • You’re out of luck if you lose your master password—gone with the wind; you must begin all over again, just like with Dashlane.

LastPass

  • Offers a one-time password, after which you must reset your password
  • Requires the computer you’ve already been using LastPass for
  • You’ll need the associated e-mail account. Otherwise, you must begin everything from ground zero.

KeePass

  • Lose your master password with this and you’re done. You must start from scratch.
  • Don’t even bother trying to crack it because KeePass does have built-in protection.

Roboform

  • It’s too bad here, too. Resetting your password means losing all of your data.

Of course, you don’t ever have to be in this hairy situation in the first place.

  • Write down your master password and store it in a secret location; do this several times, even, and make sure the locations are ones you won’t forget.
  • Write down the one-time password or backup code for your service (if it has these features). Write it down in more than one location, e.g., tape a stickie with it on the underside of your desk may not be the most secure, but an option.
  • See if the service allows you to export your password, then do so. Then save it on your computer and also print it out for a hardcopy duplicate. For better security don’t store it in your computer but instead in a USB drive (in addition to hardcopy).
  • See if the service provides a feature for emergency contacts, then set this feature up.
  • Back up all of your data as a general rule.

Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert to BestIDTheftCompanys.com discussing identity theft prevention. Disclosures.

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