Securely Store Information Across Multiple Smartphone Platforms

I felt like a long lost friend had walked back in to my life when I received an email this afternoon from Ilium Software. The email announced the availability of eWallet GO! for Android, which is a new version of the eWallet app I had been using on my Windows Mobile Pocket PCs and Smartphones for several years. When I moved to Android I had to part ways with eWallet because Ilium did not have a version for Android.

I used eWallet to store information like account numbers and passwords because it keeps everything in an encrypted database. After I moved to Android I first stored the information I want secure where I store everything else, in Evernote. Evernote provides the ability to encrypt text that you select within a note, so I encrypted user ids and passwords within notes. However, while that works, it also feels cumbersome to have to encrypt each piece of information separately. eWallet encrypts the entire database with 256-bit AES encryption using the password you provide when setting up the program.

After deciding that Evernote was not the best fit I found B-Folders, which has the same form of encryption as eWallet and can synchronize with an app that runs on Windows PCs. Desktop versions of B-Folders are also available for OS X and Linux. It is important to be able to not only back up this type of data to a PC, but also be able to access the information on a PC so that if you lose your smartphone you still have access to your data, therefore a PC companion is critical when using these type of mobile apps.

I am happy with B-Folders except for one problem, it only works on Android, while I often carry a Windows Phone, not to mention my iPad and iPod Touch. Ideally, I would like this information to be available and current on every device, which requires apps for all smartphone platforms and the ability to synchronize data across all platforms.

Ilium Software has versions of eWallet GO! for Android, iPhone, Windows Phone, and Windows PC, so versions are available for all of the smartphone platforms that I use. It does not synchronize data across mobile devices or with Windows, but it has the ability to backup and restore data to Dropbox and Google Docs, which provides the ability to maintain copies on all devices.

I’ve tested the process of backing up and restoring databases between Android and Windows Phone using Dropbox. The important thing to keep in mind is that eWallet GO! backs up and restores the entire database, and the restore process will overwrite the current database on the phone. What this means is that you have to be sure to only make changes to one device at a time, and manually track when you have to update the information across all of your devices.

The backup and restore process is not an ideal synchronization solution, but I usually only add information to my secure database from one device at a time, so it works for me. The full version of eWallet, which is available for Windows Mobile, iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Blackberry, Windows and Mac OS, does have record-level synchronization, so the ideal solution would be for Ilium to make an Android version of the full eWallet. For now, I am going to set up eWallet GO! on Windows Phone and Android, my next step is to get the data I have in B-Folders in to eWallet GO!