Way back when I got my first iPhone, one of the first Apps that I went looking for was one that would securely store my passwords. There are thousands of Apps that fill this need like Terry’s favorite 1 Password Pro. At the time I was looking for one that was free (or really cheap) and that would allow me to back up my passwords to iTunes just in case the phone died. I went through few different Apps but what I ended up with was Keeper Password and Data Vault. The reasons that I love Keeper are simple; it’s free, it’s secure (allowing any combination of letters, digits, and characters your iPhone has natively to be used), and it’s secure in that it backs up locally and has an option to sync to the cloud (for a fee).
How It Works
The first time you launch Keeper you are asked to enter a master password. Again this can be any combination of letters, numbers, or special characters. You will also be asked to set a secret question for further data protection (this is used when adding an additional device with the same account). Once logged in you will see the main home screen that you see above. By default Keeper is set to folder view as shown above (more about folders in a minute). I prefer to see a list view so tap list above the folders next to the search bar.
To get started saving passwords tap the “+” symbol in the upper right corner. This will bring up a screen like you see above. The first line is your folder. If you leave your main screen in folder view, this is the folder that your password will be found in. If you have multiple types of passwords (ie. passwords used just for work, passwords for home, passwords for the little league you coach, etc.) folders might work for you. Personally, I don’t have multiple categories so I use list view. The second line you will fill out is the name of the password. In this image I saved it as “test” but it could be Facebook Password, Email Password, etc. Below that you see the user name field. In our example the user name is “Steve Smith”. Below that the actual password field. Next to the password field (to the right of it) you will see a pair of dice. These dice will make you a random, custom password if you don’t have one for the site/login that you are inputting. Basically it will help you make a secure password if you need it to. Down from that is field for the website that the password is associated with (if applicable). There is one final field at the bottom that is called Notes. This is where you would put any extra info that you may need to go with the entry. That’s really all there is to the Password record. All of the essential info that is easy to get to and use.
This is what Keeper looks like in list view
Options is a tab that you should visit post haste when you get your Keeper account going. Within this tab there are tons of controls to customize and really make Keeper the way you want it. From the top working down we see the theme tab. Currently I have mine set to Metal however there are 12 different themes ranging from Metal(shown) to Leopard. Below that we have the auto logout that controls how long Keeper waits to log you out if you exit the App. I have mine set to 1 second because I want it to log out as soon as I exit the App.
Under security a little ways down the page we have the self destruct option. Sounding very mission impossible like, what it does is erases your data after 5 failed log in attempts. I’m forgetful so just in case I forget, I don’t want it to erase my data while I’m trying to remember my password so I have that set to off. Also housed in security is the start in folders view option. You already know that I like list view so it should be no surprise that I leave this option off. Last but not least there is a reset master password option. This is where you will go to reset or change your master password if you choose to.
Down a little farther we find the delete database option. This option erases all of the data contained within the App that has been input by the user.
Below that is the Name and Headers option button. Within this button we are able to change the names of the fields that we fill out in the records.
The last two things we find within the Options tab are the auto capitalization and auto correction selections. These allow you to set your preferences for these two topics throughout the App.
The last tab of importance within the App is the sync tab. Within this tab you will find the option of syncing your passwords with the cloud, and with the internet across multiple devices. For this service you will pay $9.99 PER DEVICE per year. This is a great feature if there are records that you are afraid that you are going to lose and won’t be able to live without until you get back to your computer. I say until you get back to your computer because when you sync your iPhone with iTunes on your computer, Keeper and all of the data contained within is saved locally on your computer for free. For me this is good enough. I don’t need to have this App synced with the cloud.
If you’re looking for a cheap (note: free) password App for your iPhone and iPad, Keeper is a really great one and definitely worth checking out.