Review: Sticky Password Pro is a valuable tool for keeping passwords safe
By Ian Harac
At a Glance
Organization of passwords
Smooth integration with browsers
Can be buggy
Sticky Password is virtually indispensable once you use it regularly, which makes the occasional stability issues worse.
If you use the same user name and password on multiple sites, all it takes is for one of them to get cracked, and it doesn’t matter how secure your password is or how securely all the other sites store it: You are in trouble. So, you should use a different secure password for each site. Of course, trying to remember dozens or hundreds of different secure passwords borders on impossible.
Sticky Password Pro ($30, 30-day free trial) helps solve this problem. It integrates smoothly with most browsers (and many other applications, such as Skype and Thunderbird), and tracks all of your logins and passwords for you. While many browsers have password managers, Sticky Password has features that go far beyond, and it keeps the same set of logins available to multiple browsers. I can flip between Opera and Firefox and not worry about which one I might have created the password in.
Further, Sticky Password Pro has a password generator which can provide a suitably-randomized string of gibberish according to an assortment of rules: length, characters included, and so on.
Accounts can be easily searched in Sticky Password’s main window, simply by typing in some portion of either the login or the site. Those who prefer a less ad-hoc method will be pleased with Sticky Password’s ability to organize and group your data, so you can sort logins and passwords into work, personal, etc, groups.
Sticky Password 6.0 offers a new interface that makes it easier to move between different categories of stored data. It also adds new features, such as bookmark management, and the ability to export subsets of passwords for sharing—for example, a set of passwords associated with accounts at your job can be exported for coworkers.
Another helpful feature is the ability to exclude specific sites. While Sticky Password works seamlessly most of the time, there are occasional places where an odd interface or non-standard practices cause it to break, which can cause frustration. The ability to do site-by-site exclusion is a useful bit of new functionality.
In general, Sticky Password Pro has maintained a rapid schedule of bug fixes and compatibility updates. However, during the course of testing for this review, I experienced two severe bugs. Both were resolved, but they need to be mentioned. First, I was experiencing constant Firefox crashes when I upgraded to v.18. Sticky Password was listed as compatible, so it took a while before I found out it was the culprit, rendering Firefox effectively unusable. Second, while testing the bookmark feature, my computer would spike CPU usage and hang, forcing me to reboot. This turned out to be related to an issue with Opera passwords, which required me to purge my Opera info. The Firefox bug is fixed in the current version of Sticky Password; the Opera bug remains a known, albeit rare, issue.
I’ve been using Sticky Password for years with no issues, so it’s not generally unstable or buggy, and I am not going to stop using it unless I start seeing issues arise a lot more frequently. It’s an excellent product that, if used regularly to generate and manage unique passwords for each site, can reduce the risks of having a single hacked server expose multiple accounts.
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