For those who spend any time online these days, chances are very good that you have an online account. For example, the AAII website requires you to log in with a login name and password to access the member-only areas of the site. Depending on the site, the sensitivity of the data can differ. For example, you want to be sure that your online brokerage account login information is secure. Much to our IT department’s chagrin, we're sure, we have usernames and passwords for numerous websites, FTP servers and the like scrawled on pieces of paper and Post-It Notes on an office bulletin board. While none of these passwords would give anyone access to sensitive personal or financial information, there is most assuredly a better way of keeping track of this information. This is where privacy software that keeps track of account information can be useful, especially today, when so many people are traveling with mobile devices and may require information that might otherwise be on an office or home computer. Since security is always a priority for our readers, we decided to see what apps were available. Doing a search at the Apple iTunes Store and Android Market revealed dozens of them. One that comes highly rated by users is mSecure, which we have been testing on the Samsung Galaxy Tab for the last few days (an iOS app is also available, as are Windows and MacOS versions).
After purchasing and installing it on the Galaxy Tab, we were ready to start entering information. mSecure is more than just a password manager; with it you can store a variety of personal information—credit card numbers, passport information, clothing sizes, etc.—in a secure, replicable and syncing fashion. To assist you in the data entry process, mSecure offers a number of templates—currently 17—for common information categories such as bank accounts, credit cards, email accounts, prescriptions, and vehicle information. The app also allows you to modify the data entered for a given category and/or create new templates to fit your needs. There are also over 100 icons you can assign to a record or type.
If you are creating a new online account, mSecure can also generate random passwords, which you can then copy and store for future reference.
Obviously if you are storing sensitive information, you want to make sure it is secure. With mSecure the data you enter is protected by 256-bit Blowfish encryption. Without getting technical, this offers a level of protection that is more than enough for most individuals. An optional feature will destroy all of your information if a certain number of unsuccessful log-in attempts are made, which is an added level of security.
There are versions of mSecure for Android and iOS devices, as well as for Mac OS and Windows. With the app you can sync with computers over a Wi-Fi network or in the peer-to-peer mode using the popular Dropbox file transfer and sharing service. mSecure also supports Apple’s iCloud.
You can also back up and restore your mSecure data to/from an SD card and Gmail (Google mail).
If you are constantly looking for online account information, or are looking to bring all variety of personal information under a single umbrella, mSecure may be what you are looking for. Some people may be turned off by the price tag, but the app provides a peace of mind that is hard to value. Recently we were uploading data to an FTP server and realized that the account had been deleted within the FTP software. The project was time-critical, but instead of having to go back into the office and find the information on the bulletin board, we were able to pull it up on the Galaxy Tab (as well as iPhone) and proceed. mSecure would also be useful for those who travel extensively. You can store your passport, credit card and reservation information in case your wallet or luggage is lost or stolen. Even if you lose your mobile device, the 256-bit encryption will keep your information safe and secure.
mSecure Password Manager (Android App Reviewed)