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Norton Identify Safe Beta offers free password management and web screening for desktop and mobile

01 February 2012, Nick Peers

One of the easiest ways to scammed these days is simply through relying on one or two easily remembered, but weak, passwords for logging on to your various online accounts. What you need is a password manager, a tool that lets you store all your precious login details behind a single, strong master password.

Password managers aren’t uncommon, from the superb Lastpass to open-source marvel KeePass. And now security heavyweight Symantec has joined the party, offering its own free password management tool with the launch of Norton Identity Safe Beta.

Using just one weak password like “Glenda” or your pet’s favourite name makes the hacker’s job so much easier, as it’ll open up all of your accounts to them in one single swoop. That’s why it’s critical you try to use strong, unique passwords for each online account you have, but in practical terms how easy is it remembering which password goes with which account?


Manage your web usernames and passwords with ease

Norton Identity Safe Beta remembers all of your login details for you – it’ll import from your Internet Explorer password manager to get started, and then will offer to save passwords as you enter them. Sadly, unlike Lastpass, it doesn’t generate passwords automatically for you, an oversight we found disappointing. It also doesn’t detect when you change a password, instead relying on you to then log out and log in with the new password before it recognises a change has been made.

Identity Safe also offers to securely fill in forms with personal details you feed it, such as names, addresses, credit card details and so on. You can also store random sensitive information as secure notes too.

Norton Identity Safe also comes with Norton Safe Web, which rates sites and search engine results for safety, security and privacy. It also allows you to safely share web links through social networking platforms too, making it a tool that does more than simply manage passwords.

The Android version of Norton Identity Safe is basically a tweaked web browser

The launch of the PC standalone version coincides with a new beta version for Android, iPhone and iPad. Norton Identity Safe for Mobile Beta isn’t yet available through the App Store or Android Market, but you can still install it on your phone or tablet, giving you access to your Identity Safe information through its own built-in browser.

It’s functional rather than spectacular – you may be peeved at having to give up your regular browser to use it – but there are some extras, like the ability to review Norton safety ratings for websites as well as a private browsing mode, where you leave no trace of your movements.

Norton Identity Safe Beta is a free download for PCs running Windows XP or later, while Norton Identity Safe for Mobile Beta is a free app for Android and iOS devices.

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