Securely store payment information and purchase items on line with Dashlane

eCommerce is something that’s been around for quite some time. Buying online is relatively simple – you browse, you compare, you read reviews, and then you click this, click that, enter account information, log-in, determine which credit or debit account you want to use, then enter in all those numbers, enter your expiration date and then hunt for the CVV numbers. OY! Paying and checking out takes three to four times as long as the actual shopping.  That’s why I like Dashlane. It’s a multiplatform eCommerce tool that makes buying stuff online very easy.

Dashlane puts you in the express lane no matter where you buy online.  With it, you can buy in seconds and save all your purchases.  Dashlane allows you to login anywhere and fill in forms in a flash.  The app saves your IDs, addresses, payment info, notes and passwords securely.  It allows you to access all of this important data whenever, wherever you need it; and no one – not even Dashlane – will be able to see your personal data.

More than an online shopping tool, Dashlane allows you to store addresses, phone numbers, passports, credit card info, and more in a secure vault encrypted locally on your computer, and sync them between multiple devices. All the data you enter and all the actions you take on Dashlane are entirely private, and accessible only to you – not even we can see your personal information.

Dashlane is a really cool idea. I like that it takes the best of electronic wallet apps and couples it with online purchasing, giving you the ability to securely purchase stuff without having to reenter all of your credit card information every single time you want to buy something. The fact that it allows you to sync info to your mobile devices as well as across browsers and computers (like your home and office computers) makes it a very compelling solution.  The premium version gets you access to a couple of other features, but aside from support, and future features that may or may not be released or made available in your monthly or annual subscription period, it doesn’t buy you much.

This shouldn’t keep you from registering the app, though.  Dashlane is amazing. You get a lot from this app for free.  Supporting the dev team will help insure that the app continues to get support and will work for quite a while.

download Dashlane

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Kindle Fire Lacks (even BASIC) Purchase Controls

Let’s face it, despite what Amazon has to say, the Kindle Fire really just isn’t kid friendly…

I bought my wife a Kindle Fire for Christmas. After a couple of days hesitation with the device, she really got into it, and now, really likes it. Small, easy to carry and for her AND the kids to use, it’s become a standard in her daily gadget line up. In fact, neither her nor the kids have it far from them during the day. Clearly, a sign of a good purchase and gift decision on my part.

However, the tablet, and subsequently Amazon’s ecosystem, have a major flaw in them; and it’s one that you won’t even bump into unless you either have kids that share your Fire or you lose/misplace the device – it has absolutely NO purchase controls.

If you order the device directly from Amazon, the device comes in a clearly MARKED box and comes preactivated with links directly to your credit card and your account. Anyone smart enough to intercept the shipment will have the ability to purchase away inside of Amazon’s online store, with YOU responsible for all of the purchases.

Strike one – Pre-activation

The device itself doesn’t have any method, or way of either excluding your purchasing credentials/credit card info or even password protecting all purchases with your Amazon.com site password. If you have the device, again, you have direct access to your account, and as long as you have money in your debit account, available credit on your card, etc., anyone possessing the device can make all the purchases they want.

Strike two – Have device, can purchase

When I confronted Amazon with this HUGE security (and frankly, clearly common sense) hole, they let me know that Amazon addressed this by putting a password on Wi-Fi access, so if you wanted to prevent purchases, you could password protect the device’s ability to get online.

This made me to a double take; and really ticked me off.

Strike three – Failure to address the specific issue: Purchase control

I think Amazon wants to differentiate themselves in the tablet market by giving their users the clear ability to purchase anything and everything they would want or need on the Kindle Fire without having to enter a password. Really..?! Am I the only one who sees this huge security hole? I give them points for wanting this to be easy, but talk about your advanced identity theft tools..! Apparently, all I need to steal someone’s credit is not their credit card number, their social security number or any of their personal, private information. All I really need is their Kindle Fire.

Nice.

Let’s forget the real world scenario that I bumped into with my 4 year old ordering an entire season’s worth of Olivia, and that I just want to gate purchases on the device with the linked account’s Amazon password (which you see on every Apple iDevice in town, including the iPad). According to Amazon, this is unreasonable. It’s also something they are NOT going to address.

They’ve given users the ability to limit the use of Wi-Fi instead. You need Wi-Fi to make purchases. With Wi-Fi password protected, you can’t purchase new content. That’s true; but it also fails to address the problem. The Kindle Fire is a content streaming device.

Amazon Prime’s streaming service requires an internet connection. The Fire is a Wi-Fi only device, and in order to view/stream content that I’ve already purchased, Wi-Fi must be on. Effectively want Amazon is telling me is that I have to unlock Wi-Fi every time my child wants to view content that’s already been purchased…and once they are streaming content, I have to watch them watch it so that they don’t go looking for something else.

But, as I said, let’s forget this and the fact that its backwards.

The unlocked device represents a huge security hole. Amazon needs to address this with a software update and needs to require the account holder’s Amazon password for all purchases and not for Wi-Fi access. Until it does, Kindle Fire, and really ALL Kindle owners, need to be careful about where they store their Kindle, who has access to the device, and who is using it. You could find yourself the recipient of a HUGE content bill if your kids, or worse, a thief, happen to get a hold of your device and make unauthorized purchases.

NOTHING you can do, either on the web site or on the device, aside from crippling it, can prevent unauthorized purchases; and this is clearly documented by a number of different complaints and posts in Amazon’s own forums.

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How to protect your online identity

Following the security disaster of Sony’s PSNetwork, many gamers and online users have asked themselves what will be the future of the online transactions? What are the ways to counter such illegal attacks and how to protect your own identity? Tony Anscombe, ambassador of Free Products at AVG Technologies, proposed a basic guide for your online security:

  • first you should keep all of your accounts information on a handwritten document. Don’t save this document in your computer, and don’t use the same passwords for all accounts.
  • put aside and use a single pre-paid credit card for all your online transactions, don’t use an ATM card;
  • use Google alerts for any service that maintains your personal data;
  • in case of a hack attack, try to contact the company that’s been hit in order to receive further information and advises;
  • use a security freeze on your credit report;
  • use game cards for specific online games services;

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LockCrypt – a modern password and information manager with great features and UI

Let me ask you a question: how many passwords should a person memorize nowadays? If I’m going say “just one”, you might think that I’m using a single password (which is clearly not safe) to log on to my computer, the same to access several sites accounts and so on? Well, no, I’m using just a strong password to access a software which keeps all the other private stuff safe – LockCrypt.

Find out more reading the full review of LockCrypt or downloading LockCrypt.

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