Review: Secure your private data and more with WISeID

Secure passwords, credit cards, and other data with this free encryption tool.

WISeKey's WISeID protects something you can't put a price on, your privacy: Your personal, work, financial, and medical data, for instance. WISeID's 128-bit AES encryption secures your credit and debit card numbers, Web site user IDs and passwords, photos and documents, or any file or folder in your system. WISeID's categories make it easy to organize your stored data, and you can add more or create customized categories from templates. Paid upgrades include online sync and enhanced vault features. The free version does plenty, though, and it's compatible with many Windows versions, from 2000 to 8, and requires .NET Framework.

We followed the setup wizard's good advice and checked Windows Update for updates to .NET Framework to maximize security and performance. WISeID's user interface is anchored by the Categories panel on the left. It's easy to use this tool: Click "Add Item," "Add New Category," or "New Item From Template." We started with some Web sites. Be careful: WISeID's URL field adds "http://" to addresses, even if you paste them in, prompting invalid URL notices. We could also browse to icons (the app adds a default icon) and even enter a site-specific Username and Password. Clicking "View" previewed the page to verify we'd got it right. There are categories for E-mail Accounts (Gmail, Hotmail, and Yahoo Mail templates are included), Bank Accounts, Credit Cards, Social Networks, and so on (even a catch-all Things category). There's even a Category for Frequent Fliers. Of course, if there hadn't been and we needed one, clicking "Add Category" not only let us create Categories but also add custom Field Name and Type.

WISeID greatly improves on Windows' built-in encryption capabilities with easy-to-use templates and a secure, central data vault protected by a strong master password (don't forget it!), plus upgrade options if you need more. The free WISeID will meet many users' needs, though.

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