It’s a little scary to think that the lowly password is, in many cases, all that separates our most private data from utter ruin. Passwords are hard to get right, and all too easy to accidentally let fall in the hands of the shady characters that lurk around the dark corners of the Internet, ready to steal every last bit of our digital footprints for their own profit.
Luckily, this generates demand for apps that can help us manage our passwords, like Dashlane’s eponymous app (Mac App Store link), which is now in its fourth major release and acts as a “digital vault” in which all kinds of private information can be stored and encrypted using a single “master password.”
Pass the word
Like every other app in this space, Dashlane’s primary function is to save and collect the usernames and passwords you use to connect to various websites. The app’s interface, however, seems to have been built with the (correct) idea that most users lack the expertise to manage their online identities correctly.
Thus, you can expect a lot of handholding at every step of the way. This is immediately evident when you first launch the app, which takes you through a detailed step-by-step process to pick a master password, install the appropriate extensions for all your browsers, and import your existing information from other password managers.
If you’re a password management veteran, this welcoming mat is a bit on the heavy side, but it’s certain to be a boon to less experienced users. For my part, I will note that I imported all kinds of data from two of Dashlane’s competitors as well as from my Mac’s keychain, without any problem whatsoever.
An extension in every browser
Dashlane is compatible with all three popular browsers and makes installing extensions for Safari, Chrome, and Firefox as easy as picking an item from a menu and following a few instructions.
In addition to logins and passwords, you can also use Dashlane to autofill all kinds of forms with your personal information and credit card data. Unlike Safari’s own autofill, the app will also save and fill the CVV code on your credit cards, which makes for fewer trips into your wallet when you want to buy something online.
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