With every passing day, online security gets increasingly important. Hardly a day goes by without hearing of a high-level hacking. But unfortunately, far too many people rely on insecure passwords, and reuse those same passwords on all of their online accounts. If one account gets hacked – boom – everything account they have could be easily logged into.
There’s a ton of password managers out there, but for many, they seem too much trouble. They can get rather expensive, and require installing extensions in your browser and more. PassLocker is trying to make password management simpler for everyone with a menubar app that’s incredibly easy to use.
iOS Style, in the Menubar
If you’ve ever been intimidated by more complex password managers, you’ll definitely not feel that way with PassLocker. It’s just about the simplest password manager you could imagine. Setup is a snap: just launch the app, set a 4-digit pin number, then start entering your passwords. You can pick from a handful of popular sites, or just enter the site’s URL, and your username and password, then save. There’s no way to import accounts, so you’ll need to enter all of your accounts, but this app is aimed at those with smaller password management needs so that shouldn’t be too frustrating.
If you’re creating a brand-new account, you can use PassLocker to help you make it more secure. Just make a new account in PassLocker first and click the key icon in the password field to generate a unique new password. Then, copy that password and use it when signing up for the new account. If you’re in the habit of reusing the same password everywhere, this is a great way to start being more secure.
When you’re ready to visit a site, you can search for the account you want, then click on the account name to see its password and click the purple icon to copy it. Alternately, you can click on the Safari-style icon that appears when you hover over the account name to automatically login to that site in Safari, so you won’t have to manually enter your username and paste the password. That’s the best option, though oddly, it only works with Safari, no matter what you have set as your default browser. If you’re a Chrome or Firefox user, you’re out of luck. Also, if you want to check the “Stay logged in” box on your sites, you’ll need enter your account by hand, as PassLocker has no option to check boxes or do anything extra.
Click the gear icon on the bottom right for a few more options, such as changing your pin and backing up or exporting your passwords. There’s also a number of other small options – delaying Autolock to 15 seconds after you leave the app, enabling iCloud sync, and more – that you’ll see with small red-light icons. Red means the setting is turned off, while green means it’s turned on. It’s simple, but perhaps a bit too simplistic, since there’s no way to change much about the app.
On the security side, PassLocker is definitely a great step in the right direction if you’ve been using your browser – or brain – to store all of your passwords. I was very glad to see that the app was set to autolock, so your passwords will be safe even if your computer is unattended, though it’d be nice to have more options than just an instant lock or 15 second delay. It was also good to see that PassLocker can generate passwords, though more options on password length and complexity would be good.
Then, PassLocker uses industry-standard AES-256bit encryption on your passwords, but secures them with just a 4 number pin, which would be rather simple to brute-force hack. PassLocker keeps you from entering the passcode again for 15 seconds if you enter it wrong 3 times in a row, which mitigates that a bit, but it’d be much better to allow longer and more complex passwords for the app itself.
Then, if you have an iPhone or iPod Touch, you can take your PassLocker passwords with you wherever you go with PassLocker for iPhone. The app is almost the exact same as the Mac app, though here, you’ll only be able to copy passwords and paste them into Safari. There’s no simple way to directly login to your sites from PassLocker, and no integrated browser to view sites right in the app. You can add new apps, generate random passwords for new accounts, and everything will stay synced almost instantly thanks to iCloud. And at $1.99, it’s definitely affordable to get the whole PassLocker suite.
Passlocker isn’t 1Password or LastPass, and really, it’s not even gunning for the same space. It’s password management, simplified, designed to make it simpler to keep up with a smaller set of passwords. At $4.99, it seems to be a good middle ground between expensive, full-fledged password management apps, and the alternate, which for many is relying on built-in password storage in the browser.
We hope to see Passlocker come with more options in the future, especially a way to work better with Chrome and options to set longer passphrases. For now, though, if you’ve wanted a simpler and cheaper way to manage your passwords, this might be just what you’re looking for, if you’re a Safari user and aren’t too worked about the potentially less secure short passcodes.