New Master Password, Sync Key

Hello Zetetic folks:

Firstly, let me say that I have been happily using Codebook, and STRIP before that, for many years. I find it a valuable tool, especially as I use it on both IOS and Windows platforms.

I apologize in advance for asking a question about something that has been discussed previously in the forum. But, I wish to improve the strength of my Master Password, and am not sure of how this will affect my Sync Key. What would be the best practice procedure for doing this?

What I think I know, is as follows. I should:

  1. Sync all my devices so they are all up to date (iphone, ipad, and Windows laptop)

  2. Change the Master Password on all three devices to be the same new & improved Master Password.

  3. Re-Sync all of the newly updated devices (I use google drive) Do I need to use “Overwrite”, as the first device of the three being synced will generate a new Sync Key utilizing the new Master Password. Then the second and third devices are to be synced without “overwrite”. They will be able to correctly decrypt the synced data file. True?

  4. After syncing, if I want to backup my new Sync Key, do I print the Sync Key barcode as I did with the previous Sync Key, saving it in a secure place. Can I then destroy the old backup barcode printout?

Thank you for any assistance.
Best Regards,
Rodney Harris

Hi @rcharris

Thank you for your longtime support of Codebook, for the kind words, and for posting to the discussion forum with this question. I’ll be happy to help.

You shouldn’t need to change your Sync Key or perform any overwrites starting with Codebook 4.

Prior to the Sync Key being introduced, Codebook used your Codebook Master Password to encrypt your synced data, so it was a requirement that your Codebook Master Password matched on all your devices (to be able to properly encrypt/decrypt synced changes). Starting with Codebook 4 (when the Sync Key was introduced), Codebook now uses your Sync Key to encrypt your synced data, and it is not linked to your Codebook Master Password, which is only used to encrypt your Codebook data locally on each device. Because the Sync Key is used to encrypt/decrypt your synced changes, you can change your Codebook Master Passwords on each device without having to change your Sync Key or do any additional overwrites of your previously synced data.

It isn’t required to create a new Sync Key QR Code backup printout after changing your Codebook Master Password, but typically we recommend it.

When you printout a Sync Key QR Code backup, it’s encrypted with your Codebook Master Password at the time the backup is created. So if you had previously printed out a Sync Key QR Code backup, it would be encrypted with your previous master password (before changing it now). There’s a line on the backup printout to write down your Codebook Master Password. This backup Sync Key will continue to work (but you’ll need to enter your old Codebook Master Password to decrypt it), so typically we’ll recommend creating another Sync Key QR code backup after changing your Codebook Master Password so that it’s encrypted with your new Codebook Master Password (to avoid any confusion).

So the steps when changing your Codebook Master Password would be:

  1. Change your Codebook Master Password on all of your devices to the new password.
  2. Create a new Sync Key QR Code backup printout from one device (and write down your new Codebook Master Password on the line of the printout where instructed)
  3. Destroy the old Sync Key QR Code backup.
  4. Continue regularly syncing as you were previously and Codebook should pickup right where it left off.

Please let me know if this answers your question and if there’s anything else I can do to assist. Thanks!

Micah:

Thank you for the quick and clear reply. You have provided an easy to understand process, which should be easy to carry out.

Hopefully this reply will persist in the forum to help any others with the same question.

I’ll let you know when I’ve finished the updates.

Cheers and Happy New Year.

Rodney Harris

Rodney,

Absolutely. Glad I could help and thanks for asking the question on the forum so other folks with a similar question can see.

Cheers and Happy New Year as well!

Micah

Micah:

The Master Password update went smoothly last night. It was, in the end, a simple process, once I got all three devices together to be able to do them all at the same time. Thanks again for your assistance. and I now have a new backup barcode secured in the safe.

Best Regards,
Rodney Harris

1 Like

Rodney,

Great. Thanks for posting back up to let me know everything went smoothly.

Feel free to reach out again if you have any further questions, issues, or feedback.

Have a nice day!