15.4–Implementing eWallet as your secure Password Magager-2015-11-05

Insuring computers and mobile devices security should be your TOP priority when surfing the internet. Using strong passwords stored in a secured Password Manager, to facilitate their use, is the most important first step. In previous articles, namely 15.1 and 15.3, I have recommended, in the fall of 2014, the implementation and use of eWalletGO. Then, in February 2015, I have recommended the implementation and use of 1Password which seemed easier at the time. Lately, for simplicity and security reasons, I have converted to eWallet, which now replaces eWalletGO, as a cross platform Password Manager (Windows PCs, tablets and phones, Android tablets and phones, Apple MAC, iPhones, iPads and iPods, Blackberry phones). This article presents eWallet and how to implement it on various devices. It will also show you how to convert from eWalletGO to eWallet.

Why eWallet?

  1. The most important selection criteria is how security is implemented with eWallet. eWallet uses the unique secret password that you create, memorize and use to access your eWallet password data, to encrypt your password data and store it encrypted on each of your eWallet activated device. Your unique eWallet access password is not stored anywhere, therefore you better remember it otherwise you will lose access to your eWallet data. This also means that unless someone knows your eWallet password it is almost impossible to de-encrypt your password data. I say “almost impossible” because the USA government coerce companies for access to information. What they can coerce companies to do is not known. If you are not likely to be of interest to the USA government, which applies to most folks, then you should not wary about this.
  2. The second most important selection criteria is where your password data is stored with eWallet. eWallet stores your password data on each of your eWallet activated device. None of your password data is sent to eWallet. Therefore, no hacker can access your eWallet password data unless they break into your computer, tablet or smartphone and know your secret eWallet password and the encrypting algorithm that eWallet uses. Once again very improbable. Contrary to LastPass and other password managers that store your password data on their computers (servers), you are not subject to break-ins of their web sites which is, in my opinion, the most likely exposure.
  3. Plus, easy eWallet backup and synchronization using Dropbox. You can and should back up your eWallet data manually on a physical device, like an external hard drive or a USB flash drive. You can also synchronize your eWallet data between devices when they are all ON. But, the easier way to backup and sync your eWallet data between devices is to use the Dropbox Cloud service. For this you need a Dropbox account. Read other articles about Dropbox on this web site for more info. Once you have inputted all your passwords and other critical data into eWallet, you want to backup this info in case you lost your device or the file got destroyed for whatever reason. If it is on the Dropbox Cloud, it is automatically backed up. If it is on the Dropbox Cloud, you don’t need to have other devices opened to synchronize with the Cloud. Your other devices will be synchronized when you open eWallet on those devices. Some will say, nice but my data will be exposed to hackers if it is on the Dropbox Cloud. To those I say: even if hackers access your eWallet file on the Cloud, which is very unlikely, to break into your eWallet encrypted data they would need to be able to decrypt your eWallet data. First, they would need the eWallet encrypting software. Second, how would they get access to your unique eWallet password, which is not registered other than in your head? How probable is such a threat do you think?
  4. Finally, eWallet costs little and is easy to implement and use. For a few U$ you can buy eWallet for all your devices. Once implemented, it is very easy to use. This is one of the reason I came back to eWallet after using 1Password for a while.

I hope the above convince you that eWallet is the right Password Manager for you. If you are not using a Password Manager “get on with it”. Please don’t do like some of my friends who keep their passwords on spreadsheets that are stored on their computers and can be easily accessed by any hacker. Some use printed sheets that can be lost or overviewed by others. The day that these people get hacked will be very painful.

Here is a function chart comparing eWalletGO (no longer supported) and eWallet:

Blog 15.4

As you can see, eWallet is more modern in design and offers a lot more functionality than eWalletGO. This is one reason I made the move in addition to the fact that eWalletGO was no longer supported. Why shouldn’t you convert too?

NOTE: I will not go into more details why you need strong passwords or why you need a good Password Manager which is well covered in article 15.3 – Implementing 1Password as your secure Password Magager-2015-02-28.

Installing eWallet

NOTE: If you own a PC, start by buying and installing eWallet for Windows or iOS PC first. You will understand why later.

STEP 1: Install eWallet for Windows PC

To buy and install eWallet for Windows PC, go to the Ilium Software web site and follow the instructions. Click on Buy Now and buy and install eWallet for Windows PC (U$19.99).

If you already have an account with Ilium Software sign into your account, otherwise create a new Ilium Software account. Once eWallet installed, you will need to import your passwords from which ever product you are using right now or input them manually, as described in the following steps. 

STEP 2: Install eWallet for Android on your smartphone or tablet

For eWalletGO Android users:

If you already have eWalletGO running on your Android device, just go to the Google Play Store and download eWallet for Android on the same device. Open eWallet using the same sign-in parameters as for eWalletGO. If it’s like me, there were no cost involved and it was very straight forward to install.

The next step is to convert your eWalletGO files (file format *wlt1) to the eWallet file format (*.wlt). To do this you also need to have your eWalletGO data on Dropbox. Just follow the instructions in the following hyperlink: Importing eWallet GO! data into eWallet on Android.

As per the above instructions, after exporting your eWalletGO (*wlt1) file via an email addressed to you, you will open this file with eWallet that will automatically convert it into a (*wlt) eWallet file.

Once your you can access your converted passwords using eWallet, you need to store them on Dropbox. Once on Dropbox, they will become accessible to synchronize with all your other eWallet activated devices.

At this point, using eWallet on your Windows PC, just synchronize your PC eWallet with the Dropbox Cloud. This will complete your conversion from eWalletGO to eWallet.

For none eWalletGO Android devices users:

To install eWallet on your Android device, go to the Google Play Store and download eWallet for Android from Ilium Software on your device. If you have opened an Ilium Software account when buying eWallet for PCs, use the same sign-in parameters. Additional info is available in the following hyperlink: HOWTO: How to download and install eWallet for Android

The next step is to convert your current Password Manager data, if you already use a different Password Manager, to eWallet. Check here for a conversion utility: INFO: eWallet GO! Conversion Utility. Otherwise, you will need to enter your passwords manually, using cut and paste, if a conversion utility is not available or if eWallet is your first Password Manager.

Importing your password records from eWalletGO to eWallet for Apple products users. Just follow the instruction provided in the following hyperlinks: Importing eWallet GO! data into eWallet on Mac OS X

Importing eWallet GO! data into eWallet on iOS

Using eWallet

Once I converted my eWalletGO data to eWallet and started using eWallet, I have learned a few important features that simplified my use of eWallet. Let me share some with you:

As a result of the conversion of my eWalletGO Cards to eWallet, all my new Cards were alphabetically listed in the “All” Category within eWallet. Under the Categories imported from eWalletGO, there were only shortcuts references to the Cards in the “All” Category. I can understand that is by design to avoid duplication of the information. This is a very important notion to understand because of its implications.

The way eWallet is designed, a Card is updatable only the Category it was originally created. Since all my Cards originals were in the “All” Category, it would complicate my life if I started creating Cards in other Categories, because it not be trivial to find where the updatable Card was.

To avoid this, I have decided that I would only create new Cards in the “All” Category. If I wanted to use different categories to easily access my Cards, I would create Shortcuts inside those Categories.

Within the “All” Category, since I already have close to 400 Cards, I had to find a way to regroup them using prefixes. Below is how I coded the prefixes to create de facto Categories under the “All” Category tab to simplify locating an updatable Card.

Here are examples of my Cards prefixes to Categorize my Cards under the “All” tab:

For “Accounts”:

FORMAT: ACC-Specific product or vendor name-Specific product or service descriptor

Example: “ACC-Microsoft-Skype” for my Skype account details and password.

For “Devices or service in a specific location” (for example: BA for Bahamas, CA for Canada, FL for Florida …):

FORMAT: Location abbreviation-Item descriptor-Specifics

Examples:

“BA-HRW-MODEM-Cable Bahamas” for the Cable Bahamas modem specs.

“FL-COURIER-DHL Agent” for the DHL Agent coordinates in Florida.

For “A Category of products or services” (for example: INV for investments services, HRW to regroup the hardware products I own, SOFT to regroup the software products I own, …):

FORMAT: Product Category abbreviation-Item descriptor-Specifics

Examples:

“INV-Forbes.com” for my Forbes account.

“HRW-TRVL-Logitech Keyboard” for the technical, account and warranty details of my travel Logitech Keyboard.

“SOFT-eWallet” for the eWallet account details and password.

Ilium Software

For more info about implementing and using eWallet as your Password Manager please consult the Ilium Software web site at: http://www.iliumsoft.com/.

CONCLUSION

I have been using Password Managers for almost two years now and I would not operate any other way for security and ease of use reasons. Shouldn’t you implement a Password Manager to protect your valuable confidential info?