Most of the people I know only use one or two passwords, and they use them everywhere. Sounds familiar? Yep, not too secure… Nowadays, there is a ton of information you need to keep safe. Let’s start with account numbers, credit cards, PINs, usernames, passwords to important web sites. What about all the non-digital information? Secret code for your home security system, emergency contact number, membership to your gym, insurance policy, etc… The list is long, very long. How can we even hope to remember so many different codes?

Your BlackBerry makes an excellent place to store all this data. It is centralized, safely encrypted and backed up to your PC. This means no more lost passwords, no more headaches remembering them, no more fears of strangers using your personal information.

So for all you avid readers, we’ve decided to save you some time and review the best Password Manager solutions available on the market. With these applications, you can keep all usernames, passwords, secret notes and serial numbers in one secured location. Let’s see what we found…

SplashID is one of the newest applications released for BlackBerry. SplashID has been around for many years on other mobile devices and is one of the best selling applications for Palm & Pocket PC. SplashData’s expertise in this field really helped to put together a complete software package. The software is very easy to use with a clean user interface. The most attractive part is most probably the desktop software which is shared between all the platforms. This is a strong software component which is the result of years of development. We did notic a couple of UI glitches when used on an 8700; the text did not properly align when scrolling. But this was mainly esthetic.

MiniSafe is definitely one of the best password manager solutions for BlackBerry. We particularly liked the filtering and sorting capabilities of the software, very usefull when you start having hundreds of entries. Their user guide is very well written and most probably the most useful of the ones we reviewed.

CryptMagic has a very powerful and customizable user interface. You can switch your main view from Tree, to List or even Table view. The entire look and feel can be changed: font size, color, field names, etc… The software is a bit pricy compared to the competition but includes all the features you need.

DataVault is a good solution if you don’t want to spend too much and are not worried about having all the advanced features. The important stuff is here: AES encryption, predefined templates, security timeout. Ascendo is currently working on a new release and we will definitely take a look at it when it becomes available. [Editor’s Note (Sept 18, 2007): Ascendo has recently released Data Vault Version 4, with many advanced features. Check it out here.]

One suggestion to all the developers: recognizing a predefined data format would dramatically improve the entries on the BlackBerry. For example, when you include a date field, why not already have it formatted __/__/____ and have the device set to numeric mode for this field? The same method can be applied to numeric PIN field, social security, bank account, etc…

Here is the comparison chart summarizing the software we looked at. The applications are ranked and assigned an overall rating, which is a subjective score based on a combination of individual ratings, the feature set, memory footprint, and overall quality of each product.

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