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SurfSecret KeyPad: Data Security Combined with Faster Browsing Experience

written by: •edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 4/1/2011
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Most of us subscribe to several websites and later forget the ID or password. Sometimes we are directed to phishing sites instead of real sites. The SurfSecret KeyPad claims to help you out with your sign-in information while keeping you safe on the Internet. Let us see how effective the program is.

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    SurfSecret KeyPad: What the Company Claims

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    I store all my login information in an Excel file: the URL, ID, and the password with a comment in case I forget the purpose of website. Though I do not save my card information anywhere, some people do. The company says that saving sensitive data on computer is not a good idea, as any hacker can get access to your files if the computer is not protected properly. This means all your important information is used by someone else for his or her benefits.

    The SurfSecret KeyPad claims that it can protect not only your IDs and passwords, but also your credit card and other personal information from being stolen. That is, if you store the information in the SurfSecret KeyPad instead of an Excel or any other file. It also claims that the ID and password are encrypted using some technology (name of the technology is not mentioned on the webpage). This makes it almost impossible for hackers to lay their hands on your data.

    The features include automatic login to the website that you include in the SurfSecret KeyPad. You need not type in the URL of the website in the Internet browser. You just open the SurfSecret KeyPad and select the website. The company claims that the KeyPad also has the capability of recognizing the phishing sites when you log in using the SurfSecret KeyPad. It alerts you regarding the corrupt site and prevents your ID and password from being entered into the malicious website’s database.

    Looking at the features on offer, I too am considering buying a copy of SurfSecret KeyPad so that I do not have to open my Excel file every time to check out the IDs or passwords to access sites that I do not visit frequently. If the company claims are true, then this is one of the best software to protect your privacy while offering you ease of logging in and ease of transactions, as you don’t have to enter the card information manually. If the data is in the SurfSecret KeyPad, it will enter the data for you.

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    Preparing to Test SurfSecret KeyPad: Download and Installation

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    Installation was not a problem, though at a point it stopped and asked me to close all the open browsers. I had to close each Internet Explorer window before it proceeded with the installation. However, the installation required just three clicks: for EULA, destination folder, and for clicking on the Retry button once you close all the open browsers.

    I faced some problems with the download of SurfSecret KeyPad. As with the SurfSecret’s Privacy Protector, I could not use any download manager. I had to turn off the download manager and use the Internet Explorer’s default download process to get the software to my local HDD. This took around 8 minutes on a broadband connection of 256 Kbps. At this rate, we can expect that it will take approximately 20 minutes to download the software during normal traffic on a Dial-Up connection. Another point worth noting here is that if at all you are able to use any download manager, there is no resume support. This means that in case of any problem, you will have to restart the entire download process.

    In the coming sections, let us check out if the program indeed meets the claims by the company.

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    Configuring the SurfSecret KeyPad | Securing your data with SurfSecret KeyPadSurfSecret KeyPad is easy to install and configure. It offers you a step by step wizard so that you can easily add all the entries you want. Once you enter the login, card, and address data to the SurfSecret KeyPad, you simply click on the relevant button to get things done for you. Overall, while protecting your data, the SurfSecret KeyPad also offers you a faster Internet browsing experience.
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    Configuring the SurfSecret KeyPad

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    The SurfSecret KeyPad allows you to create multiple accounts so that more than one user can use the program to store his or her login and transaction card information. I also found that it offered to import any existing password list (.pwl files) at the first step itself. You can use the Advance option for this. It gives out a Browse window so that you can locate the pwl file for it to import. Pretty fine option for advanced users, as it saves time. If you don’t have a readymade pwl file, you will be creating an entry for each website using the interface of SurfSecret KeyPad that will take time. But it is a one-time effort. Once the data is secured in the SurfSecret KeyPad’ database, you can use it straightaway. You need not even type in the URL of the website. This saves you plenty of time and enhances your internet browsing experience.

    The second screen asks you for a master password. This master password is the only one that you need to remember if you are using the SurfSecret KeyPad. You can gain entry to the program only if you enter the master password. You can forget about all other passwords. Make sure the master password is something that is known only to you and cannot be guessed by anyone else sharing the SurfSecret KeyPad with you.

    Check out our Bright Hub article on Creating UnBreakable Passwords.

    The third screen of configuring the SurfSecret KeyPad allows you to configure a USB Drive so that you need not install the KeyPad on all computers. If you want to use the software on any other computer, you can simply insert the USB device into the other computer and use the SurfSecret KeyPad. Once you configure the USB device, you are all set to enter the data into the software.

    First of all, you will be entering the websites’ information. You fill in the name of the website, its URL, and your login information. It offers a great option that generates a random password for you. Once you are done with it, you go the page that allows you to enter your transaction card information. The final screen asks for your shipping address. Once you are done with entering all the data, the main screen is presented which you will be using to login to any website, make transaction, or enter your address.

    Note: You have to enter the exact login URL for all the websites. For example, if you want to login into your Google account, simply typing in http://google.com will not work. You have to type the login URL, which is https://www.google.com/accounts/ServiceLogin. Though it is not complex for most of the sites, if you need more information, you can contact the Help section on the SurfSecret’s website. Let us check out how SurfSecret KeyPad assists you with faster processing and protects you from illegal websites in the following sections.

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    Using the SurfSecret KeyPad | Drawbacks of SurfSecret KeyPadThough the SurfSecret KeyPad offers you much security along with ease of internet usage, it also has some disadvantages. The major drawback of the SurfSecret KeyPad is that it can be used only with the Internet Explorer. It does not support other browsers.
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    Using the SurfSecret KeyPad

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    Other than using the data you have stored in the SurfSecret KeyPad, the main window contains options for adding, deleting, modifying the data. All you need is to select from the Passwords, Credit Card, Addresses, or Users from the left pane and then select create a corresponding entry. Once you select the entry, you can select the GO option to get the information filled in for you, on the webpage. For example to login to a web page, you can select the Passwords link on left, select the web page you want to login, and click on GO. It automatically logs you in to the webpage.

    I also found that the SurfSecret KeyPad creates a toolbar and integrates it into the Internet Explorer. This option helps if the KeyPad is closed and you open a browser window to get to some website. You can quickly select the login data to enter here using the toolbar. You also have the buttons to fill in card information or the address information. However, you will have to login into the SurfSecret KeyPad to perform any of these actions. The login screen appears automatically or you can click on the corresponding button to launch the SurfSecret KeyPad.

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    The Claim about Restricting Phishing Sites

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    There was only one way I could establish the claim about phishing sites. It protects you from phishing sites as you have to enter the exact URL to login to any page. As mentioned in the “Note” under “Configuring Section” above, as you cannot login unless you specify the exact URL for login. This is a fool-proof method to save you from being carried away to any phishing site. Even if you are redirected to any malicious site, the SurfSecret KeyPad will not provide the login information no matter how smart is the malicious site.

    Note: For absolute security, do not click on any links as SurfSecret KeyPad will provide you with an option that asks you if you want to add the link to the website. If you click Yes, chances are that you may add a malicious website to your secure database. I would recommend manual addition of links to the SurfSecret KeyPad.

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    SurfSecret KeyPad: Few Drawbacks worth Noting

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    Overall, the SurfSecret KeyPad is worth a purchase if you are concerned about safety. Even if you are not much concerned about the safety, the KeyPad is a good tool to save all your information to speed up your browsing experience. However, there are quite a few drawbacks that are to be taken into account.

    1. The major drawback of SurfSecret KeyPad is that it is not supporting any Internet browser other than the Internet Explorer at the moment. This means that you can use the KeyPad only with the Internet Explorer.

    2. You have to enter the login URL for which, you may have to first confirm the URL by trying to login manually. Upon getting the login screen, you can copy the URL and then paste it into the SurfSecret KeyPad.

    3. Customer Support is limited to email support only. There is no phone or chat support. This means you don’t get real time help. The FAQs too are not comprehensive.

    4. The most important point worth noting is that there is no way you can retrieve your master password once you lose it. You will have to create another user account and re-enter all the information once again if you lose the master password of your account in the SurfSecret KeyPad.

    To sum up, KeyPad is good at several browsing factors: protecting your login and other information; offering ease of filling in data; and above all, faster browsing experience. For people who do not need to store passwords for less than ten sites, the SurfSecret KeyPad is free for the lifetime. If you need to store data for more than 10 websites, you will have to pay a one time fee of USD 29.95.

    Considering the many benefits of the SurfSecret Keypad, USD 29.95 is not a bad bargain for those using Internet Explorer. Even I am buying it to replace my Excel sheet with the KeyPad. However, when I pay that amount, I would like to have real time access to the support system from SurfSecret. At the moment, they are offering only email support meaning I will have to wait for a minimum of 24 hours to get answers, which is slightly disappointing.