Identity theft and Internet crime are big business. Not just for hackers, but for the companies developing products to protect us, too. Protecting our personal information is more important now than ever before. You can lose so much, so easily. Every day, crooks devise new methods to steal your information. You’ve heard of them before – phishing, spear-phishing, pharming, spoofing and keystroke-logging.
Guard ID Systems has developed the ID Vault. This device is a watchdog that protects you from the various types of Internet threats. It stores your passwords, trusted websites and login information on a smart card chip. The smart card is the same technology used in identification badges.
Think of those police shows on television, when they have to swipe their card to gain access to a secure area. The ID Vault uses the same technology. When you visit a website that you have deemed as safe, the ID Vault will prompt you to continue using the stored information it is safeguarding. The ID Vault uses the same technology. When you visit a website that you have deemed as safe, the ID Vault will prompt you to continue using the stored information it is safeguarding. The iD Vault will prompt you to add a website that you visit for the first time and that requires a login to your safe list
The ID Vault seems to be a typical USB flash memory device, but it is not. It resembles a padlock, with a metal ring on the top, and a USB connector on the bottom. There is a pseudo-combination lock on the back with a red button in the centre. This button allows the iD Vault to extend and retract. When extended, the USB connector is exposed. When retracted, the USB connector is covered, and the metal ring on the top is exposed. This is a great feature because you can now take this with you on your keychain.
This USB device currently works with Windows XP systems and at least Internet Explorer version 6 (Service Pack 2 is recommended). Installation starts with the software, then with the USB device. Windows XP detects ID Vault as a USB security device. The software then comes into play and prompts you to configure the device. This happens in three steps. You first create your own PIN, then the system generates a unique serial number, and finally, the information is written to the device. When I say written, I mean written – permanently. If you forget your PIN, you will have to use the unique serial number. If you are unsuccessful after three attempts, your ID Vault becomes a fancy keychain fob. It is inoperable.
You can add websites to the ID Vault when you attempt to log in to one. It asks if you would like to add this site, you then enter your PIN, and that’s it. Your browser favorites will now include secure favorites and the sites you have added. The gadget also includes a wizard to add your banking institution’s website.
- Manufacturer: Guard ID Systems
- Price: $49.99 US
- Package includes: USB ID Vault, a USB cable, a software CD, a quick start guide and a user’s manual
- Annual fee: $19.99 US subscription fee after the first year.
- More info: iD Vault
- Rating: 5/5
- Reviewer’s comment: A portable, durable, and convenient security solution, with some added eye candy for the gadget lover.