One of the weakest parts of your security will be the passwords you use to access your online accounts. Many people understandably opt for passwords they can easily remember to prevent locking themselves out of their accounts, but these are often easily hackable. And if you commit the cardinal sin of using the same password for each and every one of your accounts, then once it’s guessed with one account, the rest are opened up too.
The problem is, how can you remember dozens of hard-to-guess passwords without having to write them all down? Simple, you utilise a password manager, like Trend Micro’s DirectPass. It works like any other: create (or log into) a Trend Micro account with a single email address and password, which going forward will be the only password you need to remember. This account is then used by DirectPass to store all your online account logins – you can enter these manually, or DirectPass will offer to store the password for you when you log in for the first time.
To help you further, DirectPass has a built-in secure password generator, which generates random passwords for you – it’ll also pop up when you sign up for a new account for the first time. All of your passwords are – naturally – encrypted with the master password to protect them.
DirectPass also includes its own specially designed browser that you can use for extra protection when accessing sensitive information online, and also includes a desktop app for Windows that syncs in with your main account, as well as a mobile app for iPad and iPhone too, ensuring you have access to your passwords from most of your devices. There’s also keystroke encryption for protection against keyloggers, automatic form filling and confidential notes.
The app works with the three main Windows browsers – IE, Firefox and Chrome – which is just about acceptable, but the problem is this is not an original concept. Worse still, DirectPass will only store a parsimonious five passwords for free before expecting you to sign up for a paid-for account, with prices starting from $14.95 per year. Considering all mobile/desktop options exist with greater support and a lower price – Lastpass is our favourite while Norton Identity Safe Beta is completely free – it makes it difficult to recommend this to anyone but Trend Micro devotees.
A perfectly competent tool let down by its price tag and lack of innovative features compared to more established rivals.