After my presentation about security last week at the TD Ameritrade Institutional Conference, an advisor asked about LastPass And Roboform, two of the leading password managers. I had mentioned that you could use Roboform with a fingerprint reader instead of manually entering passwords. When the advisor didn’t know what I meant, I showed him the fingerprint reader on my laptop.
“Oh,” he said, “that’s what that little thing is. I have one of those on my computer.”
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I’m among the miniscule number of people who uses a fingerprint reader instead entering passwords on my computer. That this advisor did not even know that he had a fingerprint reader on his computer got me thinking that I need to tell my readers about this handy piece of hardware. So here goes.
I’ve been using a fingerprint reader to log into Windows for about three years. Sometimes I have to scan my finger three or four times before it works. But even with that hassle, it’s much easier than entering a strong password manually. It’s also more secure because, just in case you are victimized by key-logger malware that surreptitiously tracks every key you enter, you’re not entering your passwords. The key-logger is defeated by the fingerprint scanner in addition to being easier than manual entry.
My new desktop does not have a fingerprint reader. So I bought one for $50
and it works great.
To make it work, Windows users should go into “Control Panel” and search for “enroll fingerprint.” Just follow the instructions to swipe a finger on each hand and Windows will remember your fingerprint.
To enter Windows, I swipe. That’s nice. No one else can get into my computer, except for a network administrator. In addition, the fingerprint reader came with software for Roboform, my password manager. So instead of entering passwords to get into websites and pay for items purchased on the Web retrieve other data held encrypted in my password manager, I swipe my finger. (LastPass can also use a fingerprint reader
Tomorrow, I will be speaking about security with Brian Edelman, a financial advisor tech consultant and security expert, at a webinar about Data Security For Advisors
. One of the issues that we’ll address is LastPass versus Roboform. Edelman is claiming LastPass may be better than Roboform because its enterprise version is more affordable and helpful to advisors. We’re trying to get to the bottom of this issue by tomorrow at 4 ET. Please join us for the session
, which is free to A4A members ($60 a year to attend all our weekly webinars and get CFP and IMCA CE credit 24/7 on replays).