Quick Look: Keep your identity in your pocket, not on a PC

Pass2Go stores info on USB key

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Siber Systems' new Pass2Go software allows you to slip your digital identity into your pocket. The program is based on the company's RoboForm software, designed to manage passwords and automate account log-on and form completion.

Pass2Go is one of the first software applications on the market that runs directly on a USB key, keeping personal information off the hard drive and allowing you to take it with you. You'll have plenty of storage room left over because the application uses only 3M of space.

The software can store a surprisingly large amount of personal information, from passwords to bank accounts to credit card numbers. We were impressed with the ease of use and how well it "knew" which information to add to which fields.

Security is obviously a primary concern with a product like this, so we were surprised to see that users have the option not to password-protect the information. We consider this a security hole and believe passwords should be mandatory.

If you do use a password, it is cached in memory so you don't have to enter it multiple times. For extra security, you can ask Pass2Go to automatically purge all cached passwords after a user-defined period of inactivity that can be as short as 15 seconds or as long as 99,999 minutes. Pass2Go also includes an automatic password generator applet.

When you remove the USB key, all traces of the software are removed from the computer. Indeed, when we disconnected our key, the program's toolbars immediately disappeared and we found no telltale leftovers on our test machine.

Pass2Go, which costs $39.98, is available only as a download from www.pass2go.com.

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