You’ve no doubt noticed that a huge number of web sites require you to log into an account before you can do anything useful. This could be your banking web site, a forum, a social network, or almost anything else imaginable and in all likelihood you have a huge number of passwords to remember. Some people get around the issue of having to remember all of these passwords by using the same password for everything, but this has obvious security implications. Norton Identity Safe is one possible solution that rivals tools such as KeePass and 1Password as it stores all of you log in details in a secure database.
The app is available for Windows as well as iOS and Android and, providing you make sure you download the software before 1 October 2012, it is completely free of charge. Although there is a regular program installation to run through, the app is really a browser plugin for users of Windows and OS X and it is compatible with Internet Explorer, Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Opera. As all of your password are stored in one place, you will obviously need to create a strong password to keep everything secure and there is a two-step approach to this.
Firstly, you need to sign into an existing Norton account, or create a new one if you do not already have one, and you then have to create a separate password for Identity Safe itself. It’s no good trying to cheat here as you are not allowed to use the same password as for your account, and you will be guided through the process of making a suitable strong password – not too short, a mixture of upper and lower case letter, and including numbers and symbols.
Once this has been done you can start storing your usernames and password and Identity Safe will then automatically fill in login forms whenever you call on it to do so – auto-form filling also extends to address, credit card details and the like. Because data is stored in the cloud it can be automatically synchronized between devices so you never have to remember password however many different machines you use. It’s somewhat disappointing to find that it is not possible to successfully import passwords that have already been saved in your web browser.
There are also mobile versions of the app available for Android and iOS and while these offer many of the same options as the desktop version, there are a few differences. Firstly, you need to have setup the desktop version in advance so the mobile app can pull in password information from the cloud. The iOS app is really a replacement for the built in browser and it will enable you to access the passwords you have stored in your account and similar options are available to Android users. It is also possible to check the safety of web sites and any pages that are deemed unsafe will be automatically blocked.