How Smartcards add Security and Convenience

Smartcards are tiny devices which contain computer memory chips capable of storing large numbers of passwords and other hard-to-remember information. Although smartcards have traditionally looked like common credit cards, an emerging trend has been to build them into USB key chain devices similar to Flash memory sticks. The photo on the left shows both kinds of devices.

Smartcards are protected using a PIN code or password known only to you. The benefit of using them is that no matter how many passwords are locked up inside, you only need to remember this one single PIN to gain access to this information. Once you enter your PIN, your computer will be able to read all the other passwords directly from the smartcard.

Benefits of Smartcards

Here are some of the most-common benefits of smartcards:

SafeHouse and Smartcards

One of the most exciting features in SafeHouse is its full support of popular smartcards. You can now use smartcards to store the passwords for your SafeHouse volumes. This means no matter how many volumes you have, or how long or complex your passwords are, you'll never need to remember or type them again. You just need to remember one PIN.

When smartcards are enabled in SafeHouse, you'll be offered the opportunity to enter your PIN and let SafeHouse read your passwords directly from the card. Besides simply being convenient, this allows you to choose super-long passwords for your SafeHouse volumes since you'll never actually need to type them once they're saved inside your smartcard.

Smartcards are discussed in detail in other sections of this help guide. Here, we just wanted to make sure you were aware that SafeHouse includes built-in support for these handy devices so you don't miss out.

Please see Using Smartcards with SafeHouse for more information.

Virtual Smartcards using USB Memory Sticks

Now this is something we're really excited about. SafeHouse can now turn an ordinary off-the-shelf USB Flash disk or memory stick into a virtual smartcard. We say "virtual" smartcard because we're using software to simulate many of the functions normally performed by the computer chips found in true smartcards.

The reason this is so exciting is that now anyone can take advantage of SafeHouse's integrated smartcard support using a common memory stick. SafeHouse only needs about 200KB of space on the memory stick to store its files; and you can still use the remaining space however you choose.

How to Enable Smartcards in SafeHouse

SafeHouse's support for smartcards is enabled and configured using controls found on the Options tab of the system tray utility.

Please see Using Smartcards with SafeHouse for more information.

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