Using smartcards with SafeHouse is completely optional. However, if you have one available to you, or even an ordinary USB memory stick, then we encourage you to try it with SafeHouse. We guarantee you'll be impressed with how convenient they are.
Smartcards come in many forms these days, including credit card-sized cards with readers, and even self-contained USB devices. Most manufacturers produce a variety of models to choose from which are all compatible with a single set of software drivers. If you've got a card or device from one of the supported suppliers listed below, then you'll be up and running with SafeHouse with just a few clicks.
Smartcards are enabled in SafeHouse using drop list shown below, which is found on the Options tab of the SafeHouse system tray utility.
This dialog is accessed from the SafeHouse system tray utility Tools & Options menu item.
The drop list and Options button are used to configure SafeHouse's use of smartcards.
The drop list will only display choices which are available on your machine. The list contents could vary based on which smartcard devices, if any, are attached to your PC.
Disabled - Prohibits all use of smartcards in SafeHouse, even if a compatible device is available.
Auto-detect - Be on the lookout for a compatible smartcard device. If found, lock in on it and begin using it within SafeHouse. This is the default setting.
Virtual Smartcard using USB flash drive - Simulate a smartcard using an off-the-shelf USB flash drive or memory stick. Use the Options button to create one or more virtual smartcards. See How to Create a Virtual Smartcard.
ActivIdentity - Enables use of smartcard hardware from ActivIdentity. Included in the list only when the ActivIdentity software drivers are detected. Professional Edition Only.
Aladdin - Enables use of smartcard and eToken devices from Aladdin. Included in the list only when the Aladdin software drivers are detected. Professional Edition Only.
Sphinx - Enables the use of Sphinx smartcards from Open Domain Sphinx Solutions, Inc.
Power Logon - Enables the use of smartcard and USB devices from Access Smart. Included in the list only when the Power Logon software is detected.
Generic PKCS#11 Smartcard - Enables the use of a generic smartcard device which conforms to the PKCS#11 industry standard. You will be required to point SafeHouse to the PKCS#11 driver file which accompanied your device. Use this option when you know your smartcard device supports the PKCS#11 standard, yet it is not natively supported by SafeHouse. Due to the wide range of design flexibility in the PKCS#11 standard, some devices may not fully support the set of programming interfaces required by SafeHouse. Professional Edition Only.
The default setting is Auto-detect, which causes SafeHouse to remain on the lookout for a compatible device. If a compatible device is detected during installation, it will be selected automatically in the drop list and SafeHouse will assume you'd like to use this device whenever possible. If no compatible device is initially found, then each time SafeHouse is run from there after, it will perform a quick check to see if you've recently installed a new smartcard device. This test in instantaneous and harmless. Once a device is detected, SafeHouse locks in on it and selects it in the drop list.
The benefit of the Auto-detect setting is that you don't have to manually configure SafeHouse to begin using a new device. This is especially convenient when SafeHouse is bundled with smartcard solutions which are natively supported since SafeHouse will begin using the respective hardware right away without any user intervention.