SplashID for the iPhone Review & How to Make Secure Passwords
For those of us who have been using Palm OS or Windows Mobile, the SplashID name might not be unfamiliar. SplashID is a multi-platform application that allows you to store important information such as passwords, web page logins, serial numbers, insurance information and emergency information.I know what you’re thinking.
“There is no way I would ever store my personal information on my iPhone, what if it gets lost or stolen?”
SplashData thought about that as well and came up with a solution: encryption. When you setup SplashID for the first time, it asks you to create a password that is used to encrypt the database that stores all of your information. Without that password, it is impossible to gain access to your information. I recommend keeping this password as long as possible while still allowing you the ability to remember it. If you’re looking for a hint on creating a secure password, check out the bonus section at the end of the review.
“I really don’t want to type all this information in on the iPhone. It seems like a lot of work.”
While the iPhone keyboard does seem to be a love it or hate it part of the phone, there is no arguing with the fact that a full size keyboard is easier to type on. SplashData has a desktop product (available for both Mac and Windows) that can be purchased separately which allows you to do a two-way sync between your desktop and your iPhone. This way, you can do the bulk of your input using the convenient desktop application while at the same time, giving you the benefit of the having the information at your fingertips with the iPhone application.The way that it syncs its data between the desktop and mobile application is different than what most people who come from a Palm or Windows Mobile environment are used to. In order to sync, both your iPhone and your desktop have to be on the same wireless network and the sync is done wirelessly. While this won’t be a problem for most people, it is something to keep in mind.
Overall, there is not much to complain about. One thing I would have to say is that some of the default types of information it has seems silly to keep in an encrypted database, such as phone numbers. Then again, different people have different needs. I’m sure Maxwell Smart would keep the phone number of CONTROL in his encrypted SplashID database just in case.
The application also gets quite a bit more expensive than some people may realize once you factor in getting the desktop will raise the cost of the application by 200%. On the same note, nothing says you NEED the desktop application, it just makes a much more complete product. If you’re undecided about the desktop application, the vendor offers a fully functional free 30-day trial.
Overall (5 out of 5)
SplashID is a simple tool that perfectly executes its intended purpose: the easy and secure storage of sensitive information that many of us need to know but we don’t keep on us all the time.
Bonus: How to Make a Secure Password
The art of making a secure password is not a completely obvious one unless you’ve done work in the IT industry. Ten years ago, I devised a system so easy I could teach it to my grandmother that would allow the creation of secure but easily memorable passwords. It goes like this:
1. Take a phrase or pair of words that mean something to you personally. It could be a catch phrase of a relative or, if you want to get crazy, base the phrase on what you’re creating the password for. For example, if you’re creating a password to use at eBay, you could have the phrase be “igetridofmyjunkonebay.” The phrase should have no numbers or special characters in it, just something easy to remember.
2. Now that you have a pass phrase that is easy to remember, it’s time to employ a simple method of making the password more difficult to guess or figure out. Instead of typing out your pass phrase as is, type it in using the key to the upper left of what you are typing in. For example, an ‘a’ would become a ‘q’, a ‘q’ would become a ‘1’ and so on. The phrase “igetridofmyjunkonebay” would become “8t3548e9rj6u7hi9h3gq6” after applying this rule.
3. That’s it, you now have a password that is secure, easy to remember, and will leave your friends wondering how you remember such a long password of random numbers and letters!