Password vaults help protect your digital life
Online managers keep all your user names and passwords in one secure spot
By Byron Acohido, ThirdCertainty
How much convenience are you willing to give up to better protect the privacy and security of your family, and even the organizations you’re involved with?
One small sacrifice is to use a password vault, also referred to as a password manager. These services have been available for some time, with comparatively light adoption. However, one leading example, from Keeper Security, that’s very powerful, yet fairly intuitive to use, is helping to change that.
Keeper is a password management and file storage service organized around putting all of your logons, for all of your web accounts—as well as logons to access sensitive files—in one central location.
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To use the service, you simply put all your user names and passwords for all of your online accounts into a digital vault. Into this digital vault you also can upload photo images of all your credit cards, images of your tax returns, and/or any other sensitive digital files that should be for your eyes only.
Instead of trying to remember weak passwords for all of your web accounts, you rely on Keeper to execute all of your log-in procedures within your digital vault.
Keeper securely handles each logon, generating a unique high-strength password for each web account and each file you choose to store in your digital vault.
The benefit is that no bad guy—or good guy, for that matter—can access the account information and sensitive files sitting inside your Keeper digital vault. That includes hackers, phishers and identity thieves. It also may restrict, somewhat, the ability for Google, Facebook, the Chinese and even the NSA from tracking what you do on the Internet.
You can use a very basic version of Keeper for free. It enables you to store an unlimited number of passwords and other items, but you can use it only on a single device, and tech support is limited.
For $30 a year, you gain the ability to sync your personal password vault across as many devices as you like. You also can back up files to the cloud and tap into chat-based tech support. There’s a family plan that sets up vaults for up to five users for $60 per year. For
businesses, the enterprise version starts at $750 a year for five employees.
The idea for Keeper Security occurred to CEO Darren Guccione and CTO Craig Lurey on a long plane ride to China in 2008. Guccione and Lurey were on a business trip together. They started to noodle an idea. At the time, the iPhone was a breakthrough device and the Apple Store didn’t have many security apps to speak of. So Guccione and Lurey devoted the next two years to developing their service, rolling out the initial working version in 2009.
Today Keeper is compatible with Windows, Mac and Linux operating systems and with all of the main browsers, including Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Apple Safari and Microsoft Internet Explorer. It is available on iPhone, Android and Windows phones, as well as on iPads and Android, Surface RT, Amazon Kindle Fire and Nook tablets.
Keeper also can let you use your Apple Watch and Android Wear devices as login-verification devices.
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