My day job keeps me on the bleeding edge of human and computer security issues, and the number one problem I run into with co-workers and their Macs or PCs is… passwords. If they’re not part of a Post-It Note, they’re all too simple and easily stolen; sometimes right from the computer screen. Here’s an affordable way to bring sanity back to password management.
Lock Up Everything
As you may suspect, anyone who works on computers is also a target for people who want and need advice and recommendations on which apps are best for this or that.
DataVault Password is a Mac password management app which doubles as a secure place to store usernames, credit card information, bank account information, and anything else you’d prefer to keep away from inquiring minds and fingers, including incriminating evidence.
Is DataVault the Mac’s best password manager app? No. That nod goes to 1Password, which runs on Macs, PCs, iPhones, iPads, and Android devices. It’s feature laden, syncs data nicely between devices, and you’ll pay for the privilege.
This app costs less, but may just give you all you need; especially if money is an object. First things first. With DataVault everything is encrypted using Advanced Encryption Standard (either 128-bit or 256-bit). Get to your data with a single password that is not stored on your Mac.
Unlike some password management apps, DataVault is a straightforward setup and usage proposition. All your account information is displayed in the lefthand sidebar for easy access. Click on one and the details are then viewable and editable in the righthand sidebar.
Tools to view, edit, sync, and enter specific data are in the top toolbar and mostly self explanatory. DataVault can be set with a security timeout which requires the password to login again after an inactivity period. You can also set it to block login attempts after x-number of tries. There’s even an option to set a master password hint, just in case you need to be prompted to remember it.
DataVault can enter usernames, passwords, and personal information into website forms with extensions easily installed for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox. Entering data to store is made easier with a few dozen default templates, and more than 100 icons. Your data can be synchronized between devices using iCloud, Dropbox, WebDAV, or a local Wi-Fi connection.
Since many of us today and multi-device owners and users, there’s a DataVault app for iPhone, iPad, even Android and other devices. In the basic feature set, DataVault is comparable in usage to 1Password, considered by many to be the gold standard, yet costs far less. Most of the 1,200 or so reviews on the Mac App Store are four and five-star reviews, so it is highly recommended by many Mac users.
The only real caveat here is the Premium pricing option. That adds Drobox auto-sync, which I consider mandatory, dozens of additional icons for the data templates, and the upgrade to 256-bit encryption. Even the premium version is less than many other Mac password manager apps.