Wallet – Secure Data Organization on a Mac

Publisher: Waterfall Software (http://www.waterfallsw.com)
Price: $14.95 (Demo has 10 entry limit)
Version: 2.6 (326) [Universal binaries]

As the name implies, Wallet is used to keep track of passwords, credit cards and other information. Wallet uses 448-bit Blowfish Encryption.

Installation

The download is a disk image file (DMG) and the installation is a simple as double-clicking the file and dragging the Wallet icon to the Application folder (or where ever you want it).

Wallet installation screen
From Wallet

The first time the program runs your asked to enter a password. You can also import another database.

Wallet setup screen
From Wallet

The next screen asks you to enter a license key if you have one. You get the same screen each time you start wallet in demo mode. It goes away once you enter the license key.

From Wallet

Then the main wallet screen appears.

From Wallet

Pre-built Groups

The pre-built groups have the following headings:

Serial Numbers

  1. Title
  2. Serial Number
  3. Name
  4. Organization

Web Services

  1. Site Title
  2. User Name
  3. Password
  4. URL

Credit Cards

  1. Type
  2. Number
  3. Security Code
  4. Expiry Data

Agenda

  1. Event
  2. Date
  3. Time
  4. Location

Shopping List

  1. Item
  2. Price
  3. Priority

There can be up to six headings (fields) in a group.

AutoFill

AutoFill is a feature that uses the data in Wallet to fill out a web form, such as a logon screen. AutoFill does not support Firefox. For support a browser needs to support Applescript. Supported browsers are Safari, Omniweb and Internet Explorer.

I set up a entry for GMail in the Web Services category. When I used autofill for the entry it fired up Safari, opened the GMail page and filled in my ID information correctly.

While the lack of Firefox support is a bit of a negative for me, the reality is I wouldn’t be using autofill very much. In most cases I let Firefox save the user ID/password for my websites. With Google’s browser sync add-in these are carried across browsers and available if I install a new browser. This also makes them available on my other OS’s. For the few websites where I don’t cache the password I could see using Wallet and AutoFill to keep the password information.

.MAC Integration

Wallet allows the exporting of the Wallet database to .Mac if you have a .Mac account. It’s saved to the “Backup” folder on iDisk. It can be accessed there from other Macs if Wallet is installed or serve as a backup. A copy of your Wallet DB is copied to your iDisk.

Backup Integration

Wallet adds a quick link for itself to the Backup 3 program.

From Wallet

I created a couple of DB entries, changed a couple preferences and did a backup. I deleted the Wallet data files. I tried to start Wallet and saw the screen to create a new file but selected quit. Then I did a restore. When I started Wallet I was prompted for my password and the data and preferences were there. The Wallet database was the only file backed up so all settings and data appear to be in it.

Password Generator

Wallet includes a password generator. This will create passwords in the format you specify.

From Wallet

Once the password is created you can copy it to the clipboard and paste into Wallet.

Dashboard Widget

Wallet includes a Dashboard Widget. I had problems with this. When the Widget is first loaded it asks for the Waller password and connects to the Wallet DB. Everything works fine. But if I changed something in Wallet the Widget wouldn’t find it. I added and entry and the widget wouldn’t find it in the search. I tried stopping/starting wallet also. What I ended up having to do was remove the widget from the dashboard and add it in again. Then searches would then work but still fail to find new records or changes to existing records.

From Wallet

By clicking on one of the fields it is copied to the clipboard and can then be pasted into your browser.

IPod Syncing

The IPod has to be enabled for disk use to use this feature. When the IPod is connected it appears under “Groups” in Wallet. Records you want saved to the IPod can be dragged to it and dropped. The records on the IPod are not encrypted.

One thing to make note of. If the IPod does not have disk use enabled it will still show in Wallet if ITunes is running and it has the IPod mounted. Wallet drag and drop will appear to work but the records are never transferred.

Support

Tech support is via e-mail only. I did send off an e-mail concerning the way the Widget is working for me so we’ll see how responsive they are. The help included with the software is good and answers any questions about using the program.

Summary

Wallet provides a flexible way to organize passwords and other information. While I’m comfortable letting my browser remember most passwords I still need a way to file the info away for when the browser (and I) forget my ID and password. The 6 field limit is a little lower than I’d like. But it’s a inexpensive, easy to use program that will help organize information I’m quickly losing control of. It’ll also get me out of the bad habit of using similar passwords at many sites. I’ll already spent the $15 to buy the software.