The latest version of Ilium Software's electronic wallet program offers greater security and incorporates some of the best features of a former competitor.
Whether its PIN numbers, bank account information, passwords, or credit card numbers, the vast majority of us have an ever-expanding amount of confidential information that we need to keep secure. If we don't, we open ourselves up to credit card fraud, identity theft, and other hazards. This problem is compounded by the fact that today's world is very mobile. For example, I carry around much of my personal information with me on my Windows Mobile device so I can access it quickly if the need arises. But my mobile device is small, and it's relatively easy to misplace it or have it stolen. For me, keeping that information secure is of paramount importance.
Over the last few years, I have used eWallet Professional from Ilium Software to keep my personal information secure. It is one of a number of "electronic wallet" applications that let you store, organize, and password-protect personal info on your Windows Mobile device. Ilium recently released eWallet 6.0, a significant upgrade of the program that adds many useful features. (This review looks at the touch screen version of the program; a version with similar features is also available for non-touch screen smartphones and Palm OS devices.)
Fig. 1: A PC version of eWallet ships with the Professional Edition of the program.
Enhancements to eWallet
As with previous versions of the program, eWallet 6.0 allows you to password-protect your personal information. However, the new version increases this protection to 256-bit AES FIPS encryption (the current U.S. Government standard). This protection applies to both the Windows Mobile and the desktop PC versions of the program.
Additionally, you can now configure eWallet to perform an automatic backup of your wallet file each time you close or lock the application. This means that you no longer have to worry about losing data in the unlikely event of a corrupted wallet file. You can also synchronize your wallet file to remote locations from the desktop PC version of the program via the Secure FTP feature. By doing this, you effectively create an offsite copy of your wallet. Why is this important? Suppose you have your laptop PC and your Windows Mobile device in the same bag and it is stolen at the airport. Although your equipment would be lost, you would still have your wallet information safe and secure on a server, which you could access once you get eWallet re-installed on another PC.
One of the more exciting new features is still in beta. Ilium is working on a system called eWallet Web Companion. It allows you to access your wallet file, stored on a secure site, from Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, iPhone, or any Web-enabled mobile device. It has multiple layers of security and encryption so you can be assured your vital information won't get out in the public. When it's released, you'll be able to access your personal information from a public PC or another mobile device without having to install eWallet on it. More information about this feature is available on Ilium Software's Web site (iliumsoft.com/site/ew/ew_olbeta.php).
Finally, Ilium worked with the folks at WebIS in the development of eWallet 6.0. This new version of the program incorporates some of the best features of WebIS's FlexWallet program, including the outstanding FlexWallet icons. In addition, you can import FlexWallet data files into eWallet 6.0. A full description of the process is on the Ilium Software Web site (iliumsoft.com/site/ew/ew_fwmain.php). More integration of FlexWallet features into eWallet will be coming later in 2008.