SecretBox: Your Private Data Vault

These days we have so much information that needs safe keeping. With so many reports regarding identity theft breaking on a daily basis, security of digital items is as important as your physical goods. Alleyways across the Internet are at times darker than the real world, and all it takes is a tiny malware in your computer to transfer all your digital data to a basement dwelling hacker.

SecretBox allows you to store all sorts of information – Credit Card details, SSN numbers, Software Licenses, account login credentials, and much more. Let’s check it out.

Setting Up

While there are so many things on the launch screen, Open File or Create a new file are the only two that will get you going instantly. Open a file is for importing a Secretbox database, but I went the other way and decided to create one from scratch. After assigning a name and location for the file, you will have to set up a password to protect the file from prying eyes.

Setting Up

Setting Up

As a welcome addition, there is an option to add the password to the Apple Keychain. This is convenient and will allow the app to autologin so you don’t have to enter the password every single time. However, if you are sharing your Mac with others, keep in mind that enabling this feature may likely defeat the purpose of having Secretbox in the first place.

User Interface

After a snazzy visual effect, Secretbox will unveil your new secret database. The database will come with a bunch of example accounts preloaded to help give you an idea how useful the app can be. If you are not a fan of pre-populated databases, that is fine too, simply choose Create an empty file option when creating a file.

Categories and Listings

Categories and Listings

In my experience, I have always found apps that come with sample data to be extremely useful. So I was naturally delighted that I did not have to spend a lot of time figuring things out on my own through trial and error.

The three column layout of the app is not very visually appealing. Still, considering the flow of the app, this is justifiable. Next up, icons. Similar to the layout, the icons tend to be aesthetically displeasing. Fortunately, for those individuals who really need an icon changed, there are a few alternatives available to choose from.

Customizing a Category

Customizing a Category

To change an icon, simply double click on the category and select the preferred icon from the Settings window that pops up. While you are on this screes, you can also change the name of the category and the fields associated with that template, or use the drop down to select a new template altogether.

Adding a Secret

Adding a Credit Card

Adding a Credit Card

Adding a secret is as effortless as clicking the + icon in the center column. If you have opted for a template category, say Credit Cards, the form comes pre-populated with standard fields like name, card number, CVV, expiry date, etc. A detailed note can also be attached to each entry to ensure that all relevant information is recorded. Alternatively, there is an option to attach files to the entry. This means that you can safeguard things like credit card information along with copies of your credit card statements.

Adding a new custom field to each entry doesn’t take much time either. Hit the + symbol below the last entry and add as many as you need.

Hovering Quick Acccess Screen

Hovering Quick Acccess Screen

For those who frequently use the Secretbox app to search for and find the Credit Card details, login credentials, etc., the Quick Access feature will be immensely helpful. As soon as you select the Quick Access icon in the top right corner of the app, a hovering search window appears. From there, you can search for the data you are looking for. In Google Instant style, results start showing up with each character you type. In addition to this Quick Access option, there is a conventional search field in the app as well.

Securing the App

Do you tend to wander away from your Mac without locking it? Or, do you allow others access your beloved Mac and often worry they might get their hands on your private data? Secretbox allows you to extensively lockdown the app and the database from other users. From the Preferences screen you can set a timer to lock the database and to hide the displayed password after a preset time of inactivity.

Securing the Database

Securing the Database

Clearing the clipboard is a great practice and you can either set the app to clear it when the file is locked or when the app is closed. You do not want to be second guessing yourself when it comes to backing up the sensitive data you have stored. So, set your backup schedule (anywhere from hourly to monthly), sit back, and relax while Secretbox does all the grunt work of backing up everything you have stored. The backup process begins as soon as the app is closed.

Security

It is natural to wonder about the security of an app like this. So, for those of you who find yourself pondering about the security level of Secretbox, the app uses 256 bit AES algorithms to encrypt the files. In case anyone doesn’t quite undertand what that means, it is the standard used by the military to secure data. So, rest assured that the data you store with Secretbox is absolutely safe. In fact, as an additional security measure, Secretbox decyrpts only the files that you open instead of decyrpting all the files at once the way many other apps do.

Final Thoughts

Secretbox is a rock solid app for protecting sensitive information. For those who want to access the data stored in Secretbox while on the go, there are companion apps for the iPhone and the iPad that sync with the desktop app. While a visual revamp would take the app a long way, it seems to have a perfect set of features and is a steal at $9.99. Go grab it from the Mac App Store!


Summary

SecretBox can be used to store all sorts of information - Credit Card details, SSN numbers, Software Licenses, e-mail and other account login credentials and many more.

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