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SoloKeep Password Protection

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Once in a while a small app comes along worthy of review. While there is an increasing shift toward turning desktop applications into web services, some functions are better suited to the local environment. Password storing and generation, for obvious security reasons, are one of those functions.

We use passwords to keep our data secure. Web sites we register with fluxuate in owership, databases get corrupted, and are even hacked themselves sometimes. As use of web services proliferate, password fatigue looms and the need for a good way to store and generate secure passwords rises. More and more data becomes stored online, and we now use these services to build distributed online identities. The old standby of using one or a few passwords for everything leads to the risk of one password loss becoming full out identity theft. That’s a price that none of us wants to pay.

But would you be willing to pay $30 bucks USD to secure all that private information? I’d call that a pretty cheap insurance. Actually, I’d call it a wise investment.

A few months ago, I stumbled across SoloKeep, developed by Brad Pineau aka the Bloggerman. It’s a nifty program with everything I’ve wanted in a password storing and generating utility for a long time.

Each password is stored as an entry. You can generate passwords of up to 15 characters; with options to use uppercase, lowercase, numbers, and miscellaneous symbols. Simply click “Generate Password” and “Use Password” and it’s automatically saved to the entry. You can even save the URL and go there with just another click. The most useful feature I’ve found is the comment section, where you can add little notes about whatever you wish. The comments are very useful if you’re managing different accounts on more than one site – a webmaster’s wish come true.

You can use SoloKeep to store an infinite amount of passwords for an infinite amount of users. That is, unless you use the trial version, which allows 2 users and 20 passwords per user. Your entries are shown on a grid, which can toggle whether to show the password or not: nice if you work around people with wandering eyes. The grid can be sorted alphabetically by title, username, password, url or comments. If you’re really hard up, you can use the search feature on any combination of those fields.

Each user has their own encrypted and password protected file, which can be exported for backups.

So if you’re like me, and have more passwords than you know what to do with, try SoloKeep.

About Will Pate

  • jadester

    i’m sorry but no, i wouldn’t fork out $30 for that when i could code most of those features in Java in a day or two.
    I notice it doesn’t mention what encryption algorithm is used – have a read of the second book down (Secrets And Lies) and you’ll see that encryption really doesn’t equal security. i’d question the wisdom of having ALL of your web passwords stored in one file (especially e.g. if you do online banking) as once the file is stolen and cracked you have to change all of them (and run the risk of losing all those accounts to the hacker)

  • http://www.willpate.org Will Pate

    Interesting observations, jadester.

    How many people do you think have the Java programming skill to create their own password protection and generation utility? Would you not be part of a small minority of the larger number of people that need password management?

    As per the wisdom of having all your passwords in one file, well it’s a question of trade offs: file them or risk losing them. You could create different user accounts for high, medium and low security passwords if you like.

    The article assumes that you want someplace to store those growing number of passwords we all create for our growing list of web services we use. You could store them online somewhere, but you’re just adding another layer of possible risk. If you run a decent firewall, spy-bot cleaner and virus scanner storing them on your hard drive is as good as it gets.

  • jadester

    yes but (i should’ve been clearer here)
    1) you can get free password generators that are actually rather good. Try googling it (googling “password generator” yields 88200 results) (but don’t google “free password generator as stupid spam sites appear at the top results)
    2) internet explorer will store web passwords.
    3) if the encryption used was a good, well-known and well-tested one, i would expect it to be named. i am naturally suspicious of programs that boast of having encryption but don’t say what algorithm(s) is(are) used, basically for the same reasons as mentioned in the Secrets And Lies… book
    So, buying this software would mean forking out $30 for stuff that can easily be done for free already. I know there is other software like this that does stuff that can be done for free, but if it saves alot of time then that’s ok. However using this one program instead of a password generator and IE won’t save alot of time and, more importantly, security is an issue we should all take more time and care over.