Are we people or are we numbers? In this world what’s more important? Both actually, but it has become increasingly important to protect the former by securing the latter. The need to make passwords more complex has become crucial as well. As the movie Hackers taught me, the 4 most commonly used passwords are Love, Secret, Sex and God. Mix in some symbols and numbers in any of those and you may have a somewhat decent password. Now, try and remember those on top of your debit pin, locker combo, home and work security pin, multiple email addresses and passwords, voicemail passwords, claim numbers, CrackBerry and other website usernames and logins – whew. There’s a lot more than you realized right? Using the same password for all is a bad idea. What are you going to do?
Please Enter your Password
Setting a password is required when you first start Ascendo DataVault, which will be used to log in to the program from here on out. If you happen to forget this password (yes I am aware of the irony of this), you are able to reset the password. Please note that doing this will result in the loss of your entries, a reasonable alternative to not securing anything or uninstalling and reinstalling DataVault. This may seem to be a downfall, but keep in mind it is one password to protect all the others, less to memorize.
Ascendo DataVault also allows you to set up a password “hint” to remind you that your password is your mothers, brothers, third baby-sitter’s second pet dog’s name. Another important option is to set a security time out (which I highly recommend) with a time frame between 1 minute and 60 minutes.
You are now ready to protect your vital information. You can enter them using the basic format, assigning/adding categories, types and icons, or use DataVault’s intuitive templates. Let’s say you want to have your Insurance Policy information handy. Select Insurance from the templates and you are greeted with options including Company, Subscriber/Group/Member numbers, Plan and Physician’s name. I prefer this method as it saves time and is easier to decipher. You can create your own template as well and even duplicate your entries to quicken your data input.
If you have notes on your memo pad, you can easily transfer them to DataVault and assign types and categories.
All of your information in DataVault is stored in an encrypted file. This file utilizes a U.S. Government sanctioned AES encryption code making DataVault one tough nut to crack. How tough you ask? Let’s just say it would take Deep Thought a fraction of the time to come up with the ultimate answer to Life, the Universe and Everything. Keep in mind that it did take Deep Thought approximately 10 million years to calculate the answer. More information on AES can be found here.
There are two ways to view your entries; Tree View and List View. Both have their advantages:
In Tree View you have the ability to expand or collapse its levels one by one or all at once. Another option would be to set its default configuration to collapsed, automatically expanded or last information.
List View gives you two ways to look at your entries. You can click on each entry and view them individually or use DataVault’s view dubbed “Roll & Scroll”. You would scroll vertically through the fields and then horizontally through their items. For faster navigation, set a smaller number of fields to be displayed. I prefer this mode, especially since you can anchor the items name when your scroll vertically.
With both views you are given a search option. You can find entries by the First letter, find string or the extended search.
Another key feature, which was included in DataVault’s latest update is the ability to email an item to someone else who is using DataVault in DataVault Exchange Format. Or encrypt and decrypt your emails to and from fellow users (you little international spies you).
One last note on DataVault is, as with previously reviewed Ascendo products, the chance to customize your interface. Not that important in my opinion, as function is always more important. Choose from multiple font options, row and table color, 12 skins, a splash screen and personalization lines.
Shutting the Vault Door
Hands down, way down, this is an amazing piece of software. I used to use BlackBerry’s Password Keeper, but Ascendo DataVault just offers so much more. I know that my info will be under a virtual lock and key and will never have to worry about a security breach in my lifetime. It’s solid interface, umpteen personal preferences to choose from and air tight security make this an absolute critical piece of software to have on your BlackBerry.