We’re not sure exactly when passwords and pin numbers became so pesky. They started out being simple enough to remember, but have since evolved into longer, more complex and inevitably forgotten beasts. There’s one thing they usually succeeded at, though, and that’s keeping would-be identity thieves out. Sometimes they’re so good they end up doing the same to their owners as well.
Here to save the day is WISeID Password Manager & Personal Data Protector. Within this app, users can store the access codes to their accounts, such as those at banking institutions and social media sites. There’s also a way to document personal items and their serial numbers, among other features. Can WISeID protect you from the ultimate threat to security: forgetfulness? Find out after the break.
Setting Up Your Security
To get started with WISeID, you’ll need to create your three-tier protection system. Note that you don’t have to complete all of the levels, but not doing so kind of defeats the purpose of utilizing this security app.
The first step is creating a master password. It can be anything you choose or WISeID can generate an option for you. Whichever method you select, WISeID will let you know a password’s strength by indicating how long it would take to crack.
After that, you’ll create a dot-pattern recognition pass code. This follows the format that many use to unlock their mobile phones.
Finally, WISeID features face recognition technology. To get a consistent trace of your face, the app will ask you to snap three pictures of yourself. These aren’t Facebook-style profile pics — each portrait must be shot directly with your phone at eye level.
Lighting is key here, as is removing any accessories from your mug (glasses, headphones, hair in your face, etc.). Strangely, this is one step that can be skipped if you’ve successfully entered the correct password and dot-pattern code.
WISeID won’t accept log-in pictures if you’re wearing glasses, headbands, headphones or other objects that change the look of your face. Be sure to snap clear pics to quickly see your data.
Once you’ve finished all three steps, you’ll be sent a confirmation email and, if you choose, you can flesh out a more detailed profile. Then all you’ll have to commit to memory is your master password and the dot-pattern recognition pass code.
Lock Then Load
The crux of WISeID is how it stores your sensitive access codes and pins — encrypted, of course — all in one place. Adding them is a simple process. Pick which category the account falls into from the existing list including, websites, email, social networks, bank accounts, credit cards, memberships, frequent flyer, things, notes, passwords and uncategorized. When adding to most of these categories, you’ll have the option of using a template or creating an entry from scratch.
For the template option, this means that some popular entities, such as Facebook and Twitter for Social Networks, Wells Fargo and Citibank under Bank Accounts, and so on, have already been identified by WISeID.
You just have to fill in your specific details, including usernames and/or emails, passwords and any other notes you’d like to attach to an entry. You can also add more fields from the menu underneath the main details.
Creating an entry from scratch utilizes the same data fields as the template, but won’t feature the logo or other snazzy icon that accompanies the already-preset additions.
Upon saving your entry, you’ll then be able to sort through and search them. Crack open a saved entry and you’ll see that the password is hidden. Simply touch the asterisk to quickly reveal what it is, then tap it to once again to hide it.
Save and Protect More Details
Things utilizes WISeID’s camera integration in a very practical way. Here, users can take a picture of their valuable belongings and compiles the most important data about them, including warranty, expiration dates and serial numbers.
Need to send a message with sensitive data? WISeID allows you to encrypt a message that requires a password to reveal its contents. The sender of said message need only share the password for the message (which differs from the master password you use for WISeID) with the receiver, who will need WISeID or the developer’s website to read your note.
You can also decrypt emails. If you use this feature a lot, used passwords can be saved and selected for use again in the future. An add-on premium is Backup & Restore. At $3.99, this feature allows users to backup data to Dropbox and apparently will restore it should you switch phones or somehow lose the passwords on your current device.
You can also obtain a certificate to send trusted emails. A digital signature verifies that the message was indeed sent from you and that the contents of it weren’t tampered with.
A Wise Idea?
WISeID does offer an air of security along with easy access to your passwords and pins, however it’s not without its bugs. Registering for an email certificate (the thing that authenticates that a message is definitely from you) felt like a circular process — one that actually did involve entering some information twice. It also required tracking down info on SMTP, which basically gets your email from one place to another. It would have been nice if this was automatically pulled using your email address.
Prepping for every face recognition picture was also a bit annoying, though understandable given the level of security users are looking for. But that said, it’s questionable why this step can be bypassed.
The app also has major issues when adding information under Bank Accounts. Whether an entry is created from scratch or a template, when selecting the type of account, it kicks you out of the app, shuts it down and forces you to log in again. This makes it impossible to save banking info within that category’s presets, though they can be added within some other categories. (The developer told me that it was aware of this problem and is currently working to fix it.)
There are also some curious extras within the app, such as an ability to see Groupon and other deal sites’ offers, a QR code reader and regular suggestions to connect to social networks via WISeID, which seems to have no benefit to the user, only the app maker who is being promoted.
Ultimately, not having your identity compromised is the safest way to not lose your stuff. But — provided WISeID can fix the bug with adding bank accounts — the app is a good second line of defense in protecting and managing your sensitive data.