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Software I Can’t Live Without: KeePass Password Safe and ZumoDrive

KeePass Password SafeWorking with new technology on a daily basis, I invariably come across some really great software programs that make my life a whole lot easier. I decided to start a blog series titled “Software I Can’t Live Without.” And yes, the title pretty much says it all.  I’ll be featuring programs that are either indispensable to me or are really cool and useful. I hope that these reviews help you to find some programs that also become indispensable to you.

The first program that I had to feature is KeePass Password Safe. This is one that I only started using three months ago and now don’t know how I ever managed to get along without it. Oh wait, I didn’t. I would have some Excel spreadsheets with passwords, forget others, use the same password for many different web sites, etc.  Now, with this program, I easily store all my account information in one secure place and have secure and unique passwords for all the web sites I visit.

KeePass allows you to create entries for all your web site passwords, pin numbers, credit card information, etc. – pretty much anything you would like to store in a secure manner. It stores this information in a secure AES and Twofish encrypted database that you only have to remember one master password to open.  In addition to storing passwords, it also allows you to auto-generate long secure passwords, which can then be copied from the program when needed. You can also create groups, enable enhanced protection and memory protection, and much more.  The best thing is that it’s free!  Not only that, the code is open source, so the software can be evaluated to make sure there are no backdoors or security problems. There’s also a number of plugins which further extend its functionality. The main downloads on the site are for Windows, but there are also ports and builds for Mac OS, Linux, iPhone, PocketPC, Blackberry and more.

It’s very easy to use, but like any new program it takes some time to make it part of your routine. Once you do, I’m sure you’ll also wonder how you ever lived without it.

ZumoDrive Cloud StorageI also mentioned ZumoDrive along with KeePass in the title of this post.  ZumoDrive is a cloud-storage solution that works on Windows, Mac OS and iPhone. It’s a bit unique from other cloud-storage solutions in that the files you store there do not also take up physical space on your hard drive. ZumoDrive sets up a “fake” local drive (Z: by default on Windows) and then streams those files over the Internet when you need them. They’re not actually local, even though it looks like they are.  This is great for devices like the iPhone or NetBooks that do not have a lot of storage capacity of their own. They give you 1GB of free storage, and larger plans start at only $2.99 per month.

The way to combine KeePass and ZumoDrive is to store the KeePass database on your ZumoDrive cloud-storage drive.  KeePass operates exactly the same way as always, but now your encrypted database is stored on the cloud and you can access it from your home computer, work computer, laptop or iPhone and it will always be in sync and backed up automatically.

These are both great products and they both have some great uses!  Hope this post helps you to better manage and secure your accounts.