Thursday, 12 September 2013

Universal Password Manager

It is unusual for me to use this blog to promote any product or service. I do review things now and then, but in this case I have no hesitation in recommending that, if you haven't got something like this, you need it. Really.

This post is actually part of the process of documenting my acquisition of a new smart phone. I got a Google Nexus 4 which runs Android. This is a lot cheaper than going the iPhone route as I have explained elsewhere. It was very rare for me to use my old phone to go to websites. The Nokia is small and not very easy to use. And, when I did need it to find and book a car2go for example, it was remarkably inaccurate. The GPS was hopeless. It was too small to render the next bus information as a map too. But all that has changed.

I got Universal Password Manager when I got the tablet. Back in the old days of the Palm pilot, I carried my passwords on that in an encrypted database. I did not pay much attention to the ability to synchronize across devices, as when I needed a password the tablet was handy to the MacBook. But it won't be when I am out and about with the Nexus 4.

UPM is free and available from Sourceforge. It is cross platform - meaning it can run on most operating systems - in my case OSX and Android but also Windows and Linux. And, since I already have a Dropbox account, syncing across machines is easy. I do not claim to be a technical wizard, and with the aid of the user guides provided, I found the whole process to be easy and straightforward.

Now why do you need this. Well for one thing when looking for the password manager I also came across plenty of webpages offering password hackers. They are also free and easy to use. (Just put "universal password hack" into google to see what I mean. The problem is that you need passwords that are hard for machines to hack, which means for humans they are impossible to remember. You must also have different passwords for different web pages, first because you do not want someone's web page manager knowing how to get into your other accounts and secondly web pages get hacked. Having multiple, gobbledegook pa$$w0rds @ h& is going to be essential for everyone who wants to do something to protect the 3@$3 of use and convenience of doing stuff online. 

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