LSN Password Safe Helps You Stow Your Secrets

The LSN Password Safe (free) helps you keep track of your plethora of passwords with a free encrypted 'safe' on your PC. Once you have it set up, it's easy to add a new record to your safe, with entries such as login, password, URL or e-mail. But using it for the first time might leave you scratching your head. LSN offers an impressive--sometimes daunting--number of security features, including a virtual keyboard, multiple encryption options, and CAPTCHAs to help keep your data safe from spying software.

LSN Password Safe screenshot
LSN Password Safe keeps passwords and other data secure--but it's complicated enough to be best suited to power users.

To get things rolling with a new safe of your own (the program comes with an example safe that has no password protection), type the name of the file you'd like to use in the 'Select File' field in the first Open or Create Safe window you see. Skip the 'Use Password with Key file' field, and enter the password you'd like to use with the safe in the 'Enter Password' field. You can select any existing file as a key file for additional protection if you want--the program will use the file's characteristics to help protect the safe--but make sure you don't change the key file after selecting it.

You can then add records to your safe, which will be listed in an Explorer-style with the record names on the left and their contents on the right. Clicking the URL in a record will bring up that site in your browser, but LSN won't auto-fill your login name or password.

LSN can run from a thumb drive, and can be configured to synchronize its data between two different files to protect against data loss if a hard drive fails, for example. But because it uses additional security protections that take into account the characteristics of the hard drive where a safe it saved, you can't simply copy your LSN safe from one PC to another and open it there. To use the same safe on both a work and home PC, for instance, you'll need to first use the 'Save As' option from within LSN to save the safe file to a thumb drive.

Then connect the thumb drive to another PC with LSN installed, open the file on the thumb drive, and choose the 'Save As' option again to save the file to a location on the new PC's hard drive. Although this is slightly cumbersome, the author says this method will automatically enable synchronization between the files on the PC hard drives and the file on the thumb drive, so that you can keep both copies of LSN sync'd by shuttling the thumb drive back and forth.

LSN Password Safe is likely best suited to power-users who wants strong security features and don't need much instruction. Less technical users might have some trouble learning the program's ins and outs.

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