Lock down sensitive information with Secure Data Manager

Secure Data Manager is a handy way to keep your sensitive passwords hidden from prying eyes, yet keep it at the ready for when you need to locate credentials for a machine, a software key, a URL login, and more.

As an IT administrator, you have plenty of secure data to lock down. From login passwords to software keys (and everything in between and around), you have information that cannot be left out in the open. There are numerous secure password/information managers that can solve that problem. One such tool, Secure Data Manager (SDM), is not only free, it's easy to use, secure, and open source. If those are qualities you're looking for in a password/secure data manager, SDM might be the tool for you.

With SDM you can enjoy:

  • Unlimited entries
  • Categories
  • Printing
  • Lock app while open
  • Random password generator

It's a simple application that doesn't require an installation, though it does require Java. Why is that important? I prefer an application of this nature to not be able to be run from within a contained folder. If you're uber sensitive about the data the app contains, you can always encrypt the folder containing the app for an extra layer of protection.

Installing SDM

Although the application requires an older version of the Java Runtime Environment (JRE), you can install the latest package and still enjoy the tool. To install the correct JRE, download the latest JRE package from Oracle and double-click the installer and walk through the simple steps. Now you should be ready to run the SDM application:

  1. Download the SDM zip file.
  2. Unzip the downloaded file.
  3. Open the newly created sdm-2.2 folder.
  4. Double click the sdm.jar file.
The application should open and present you with the main window (Figure A). Figure A

SDM is ready to store your data. (Click the image to enlarge.)
The first thing you should do is create a password for the application. This password will allow you to keep the app open, but lock it so no one can access it unless they have the password. In order to lock the application, click Tools | Lock App. You will be prompted to enter a User Name and Password; your User Name and Password will be the credentials you use any time you lock the application. When SDM is locked, the only thing that will appear is a small login prompt (Figure B). In order to get back to the main window, you must enter the credentials you created upon first locking. Figure B

This is all you get when SDM is locked. (Click the image to enlarge.)

Creating entries

Before you create data entries in the application, you'll want to manage the categories. To add new categories, do the following:

  1. Click Tools | Preferences | Category.
  2. In the Category window (Figure C), enter a new name for the category.
  3. Click the + button.
  4. Continue adding until you have all the categories you need.
  5. Click the Apply button.
Figure C

Now you can begin adding entries to be stored in SDM. (Click the image to enlarge.)

To add an entry, do the following:

  1. Click Add Entry.
  2. Enter a title for the entry.
  3. Select a category.
  4. Select a type.
  5. Enter the remaining information.
  6. Click the Apply button.
The new entry will appear in the right pane of SDM. In order to view the password, click Tools | Hide Password. When Hide Password is unchecked, the passwords will appear in plain text (Figure D). Figure D

When you unhide passwords, all passwords will be visible. (Click the image to enlarge.)

After you enter your passwords, you should save the file. After you save the file, you will need the same credentials you used to lock the application, so remember those credentials.

Give this open source app a try, and see if it meets your needs for securing your various and sundry credentials.


Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website

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