dashlaneWhat prompted all this examination of password protection, (see next post) is trying out a program called “Dashlane.” It has received lots of publicity, all of it full of praise. Our experience: not so good.

Dashlane saves passwords and has an automatic log-in and form filler. Go to a password-protected website you have signed into before, and boom, you’re logged in and any required forms are filled out. It also keeps track of your credit cards and online purchases. This is what it promises to do, even though we don’t think we want someone to have all our credit card information— even if it’s protected by a master password that only we know.

Dashlane promised to be uncrackable by any bad guys. That turned out to be the problem. The security feature is what messed us up. It goes like this: Tap the “security” button and up comes a list of insecure and over-used passwords. Most of ours fell into this category. So we complied and changed a whole bunch of them. That’s where everything went wrong. The next time we wanted to check email on our Android phone away from home, we couldn’t log on. We couldn’t remember our new password and Dashlane wasn’t installed on the phone. So we went to the app store to get Dashlane, but we couldn’t install any new apps without a password. It was a classic Catch 22. The program didn’t tell us to install the Dashlane app on all our devices before changing any passwords, so we were up some kind of creek without a paddle.

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