Image: Jack Wallen

With the latest release of Nextcloud (version 16), there are plenty of features that should appeal to companies of all sizes. Along with those features come a number of apps (both new and old), some of which are geared specifically toward the security of your Nextcloud instance.

One such app (that’s been around since Nextcloud 12) allows users to work with a password manager from within the Nextcloud interface. The app in question is called, simply enough, Passwords. Passwords allows users to safely store passwords and manage them with an intuitive interface. The password feature set includes:

  • Password security monitor
  • Secure encryption
  • Folders & tags
  • Sharing
  • API for apps
  • Extensive handbook
  • Import & export
  • Browser extensions
  • Password generator

Let’s install Passwords on Nextcloud 16 (the app can be installed on versions 12 and up) and see how it works.

SEE: Windows 10 security: A guide for business leaders (TechRepublic Premium)

What you’ll need

The only things you’ll need to make this happen are:

  • A running instance of Nextcloud that uses SSL
  • A Nextcloud administrator account that you can log in with

How to install the Passwords app

In order to install the app, log on to Nextcloud with your admin credentials. Once you’ve authenticated, click on the profile drop-down (in the upper right corner) and click Apps. From the Apps sidebar, click Security. Scroll down and locate Passwords (Figure A).

Figure A

Click Download And Enable to install the app (you will be prompted for your admin password before the install will begin). Once the installation completes, you should see a key icon appear in the Nextcloud toolbar (Figure B).

Figure B

If, after clicking the Passwords icon, you see a warning that you must use SSL, you can enable this feature with the following commands:

sudo a2enmod ssl
sudo a2ensite default-ssl
sudo service apache2 reload

It is highly recommended that you use certificates purchased by a reputable CA, but for internal-only usage (or testing purposes), you can always work with self-signed certificates.

How to use the Passwords app

Once you find yourself on the Passwords page (Figure C), you can start adding new entries.

Figure C

The Passwords app is a blank slate. In other words, it’s up to you to keep your passwords organized. To accomplish this, the app allows you to create folders to house password entries. You could create folders for specific categories (such as websites, apps, services, etc.). Click the + sign to create either a new folder or password.

If you create a folder, change into that folder, click + button, and click Password. You will be presented with the password entry window (Figure D).

Figure D

Fill out the necessary information for your password and click Save.

One very nice touch with the Password app is that you don’t have to open a password entry to copy the password to your clipboard. Instead, just locate the password in question, left-click the entry, and the password will be copied to the clipboard.

If you’re looking for a way to give your Nextcloud users a simple to use password manager, you cannot go wrong with the Passwords app. Although it doesn’t include the ability to import password databases from other applications, it’s a solid entry to the password manager space. And given that it can be used directly from within Nextcloud is an added bonus for any company looking to encourage users to work with strong passwords.