Tablets are everywhere, and with the holiday season quickly approaching, they'll be even more widespread. This means that more users will be going to more web sites on unprotected networks. However, that's not a good practice. No matter what network you're on, you do not want to risk broadcasting web site login credentials to prying eyes.
One possible tool for this task is DirectPass for Tablet by Trend Micro. DirectPass is a secure password manager for Android that stores and protects your login credentials. Instead of browsing those password-protected web sites from within the standard tablet browser, you view them from within DirectPass. This solution gives you an additional layer of protection against online threats. And since all your passwords are contained within an encrypted environment, you only have to remember one password.
DirectPass offers the following security features:
- Keystroke encryption
- Secure browser for financial web sites
- Full 256-bit encryption
- One-click login to your frequently visited web sites
- Auto-fill for forms
- Store secured notes for any web site you frequent
- Auto-sync across multiple devices
The only caveat I've found with DirectPass is that if the web site login requires a CAPTCHA, you'll have to re-enter the new CAPTCHA each time. Other than that, the app is a winner. Let's take a look at how DirectPass is installed and used.
- Open the Google Play Store
- Search for "directpass" (no quotes)
- Tap Install
- Tap Accept & download
When you first launch DirectPass, you'll receive a prompt to create an account. The account is free and allows you to keep your passwords synchronized with all devices associated with your DirectPass account. The information is submitted encrypted, so it should be safe.
UsageOnce you've created an account, you'll have to create a Master Password (Figure A). Figure A
DirectPass as seen on a Verizon-branded Samsung Galaxy Tab.Once you've created your Master Password (the password that you'll use to gain access to the application), you'll find yourself on the main page (Figure B). Figure B
Screenshot of the DirectPass web browser.Tap on the keyhole icon (upper left corner) to switch between the DirectPass browser and the password listing (Figure C). Figure C
Here you see two of my sites saved in DirectPass.
How DirectPass works is simple:
- From the DirectPass web browser, you visit the site in question
- Enter the credentials to log into the site
- When prompted (by DirectPass, not the site) save the password (Figure D)
The login credentials are saved in DirectPass and easily accessible (if you know the Master Password, so make sure to create a very strong Master).Figure D
The Save Password dialog for DirectPass.
After you've saved the credentials for a site, you can also go back and edit that information. Here's how:
- Open up DirectPass
- Tap the keyhole icon in the upper left
- Tap Open Console
- From the site listing (left navigation), tap the site you want to edit
- Tap the pencil icon in the upper right corner (Figure E)
- OK the warning
- Edit the information
- When complete, tap the Save button
Change your password for a web site with ease.
From the Console, you can also:
- Edit your profile (add personal, contact, address book, and credit card information)
- Add secure notes
- Change settings for DirectPass (change account email address, master password, and set auto-sync)
If you opt to not set up auto-sync, and you're using multiple devices (associated with the same DirectPass account), make sure you tap the "Tap to sync" button on the left navigation (just above the site listings). If you make any changes or add sites, you'll want to tap that again. However, if you're constantly adding or editing sites, auto-sync might be a good idea.
DirectPass is a nice tool to have for Android tablet users who are looking for a more secure means to log into password-protected web sites. I've used DirectPass on both the Samsung Galaxy Tab and the Motorola Xyboard with great results. Give this handy tool a try and see if it doesn't give you a better sense of security when logging into web sites on unfamiliar wireless.
Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.