Get a handle on your passwords and keep your private information private with Trend Micro’s DirectPass

With everyone and their brother getting online and creating this account on this website, and that account on another, security is an issue, especially if those websites have electronic stores on them. Having the right kind of password for your sites and stores is important and can be the difference between you buying with peace of mind and working through identity theft procedures. This is one of the reasons why I like DirectPass. It’s a password vault for Windows.

According to Trend Micro, 8.1 million adults were victims of identity fraud in 2010, totaling $37 billion in losses. It’s possible that this wouldn’t have been so severe if those people secured their web accounts and credentials with strong passwords.  The big problem though is that it can be very difficult to remember and manage all these different accounts and passwords this is where tools like DirectPass come in handy.


DirectPass is a secure password generator.  It provides a place to securely store confidential notes, is an automatic form-filler, and is a secure browser for when you visit banking and financial websites.  It automatically syncs your login information across multiple devices.

The app is free and allows you to store for up to 5 passwords.  If you want to store more than that, it’s going to cost you a bit.  The software is billed as a service and not a traditional licensed application.  You get unlimited passwords for $15 bucks a year You also get automatic web form filling, a secure browser for banking and financial sites as well as  auto mobile device synching.

DirectPass is a decent application. Coming from Trend Micro, a security and anti-malware expert, you know the application is secure and  won’t be a point of insecurity. The app is very good at what it does.  The free version does little more than give you a small taste of what the paid version does. With room for only 5 passwords, the rest of your information is unprotected without purchasing an annual subscription.

Honestly, the subscription model bothers me a bit. Once your subscription expires, you’re not able to access your information or get access to passwords. If you give the software a try and like it, the best thing to do is buy the two year subscription, as that way, you’ll have access to your secured information for at least 24  months.

download DirectPass

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Anti-Malware Programs Should be Free

Based on what’s available, you should never HAVE to pay for your anti-malware app.

I’ve been a freelance technology journalist for over 15 years. I’ve written for CMPnet, AOL/CompuServe, UBM TechWeb and for a number of print publications, including a local Chicago paper that is part of the SunTimes family. I’ve looked at a boat load of malware scanners over the years; and its clear, you have to have (and USE) one on your computer. You just do… Unfortunately, there’s really no way around it.

However, just because you have to have and use one, doesn’t mean that you have to pay for it. And you certainly don’t have to pay yearly subscription fees after your initial purchase. There are a number of scanners out there that are really very good, and are free.

Any and all of these are GREAT scanners, and more importantly, they’re all free, and don’t come with any kind of strings attached, such as subscription fees for updated AV definitions. I’ve used all of these at one point or another for both Windows and Mac, and highly recommend all of these. Most scan for viruses, worms, Trojans and the like, and may even help with phishing scams.

If you don’t feel comfortable with a free solution, or prefer the additional or advanced features of a pay or subscription based product, that’s fine. In the end, you just need to find one that seems to work the best for you…and then USE it. Let it run, regardless of WHEN it wants to run its scans. Let its definitions update. The utility can’t protect you if you don’t let it scan your PC and/or let its definitions update itself. Most modern PC’s have multi-core processors. Any performance hit you take is going to be minimal, and should be tolerable. Besides, any performance hit you take is well worth the benefit you receive.

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