iPhone security software - Data Guardian
by Berislav Kucan - Thursday, 29 January 2009.
Koingo Software is a developer of various applications for multiple platforms including Windows, Mac OS X and now the iPhone. For quite some time our download section hosts their flagship security utility Data Guardian for both the Mac and Windows.

Last month Koingo announced that they have ported the Data Guardian technology to the iPhone and I bought it as soon as the software was approved for placement in the App Store. The current version is 1.0.1, the file is just around 300 kilobytes and it goes for $1.99.



Data Guardian is a security utility that allows you to hold all your private information inside a locked database. While there are numerous similar products for multiple platforms, I really liked the way Data Guardian users are empowered to create their own specific sets of information holders. As you will see later in the text, user has an unique ability to fully customize the database for her own use.



The first thing to do is to create your database and equip it with a password that will make you input and use your private information.



After opening a database, you are provided with two predefined information holders - the Library and a stack for unfilled data. Besides these, from the obvious usability perspective you should create your own collections where you can host specific sets of information - job related, personal, banking, passwords etc.

The data structure inside Data Guardian is constructed as follows:
database > collection > records > information


When creating a record, the user has full power over the type of data it will hold. As you can see from the screenshot below, you can set some of the usual field types such as a text box, data and password, but for more advanced use, you can also find checkbox, slider (with 0-100% range), multiple choice menus, as well as a large text box. The latter provides Notepad functionality inside the locked Data Guardian database.



Getting around record customization will take a bit of your time, but as soon as you get familiar with the concept, you will create specific information sets quickly. To make things easy, every record set you create can be saved as a predefined template which is handy with larger databases.



When creating lists of contacts, you will most probably use phone and e-mail fields. The phone field can store phone numbers in different formats and the "live results" will be active in a way that clicking a number inside Data Guardian will automatically call the person in question. In this situation, after the call you will need to re-authenticate to the applications. Unfortunately the e-mail field does not use the same automatic usage functionality.

There is a bug that didn't give me an option to move the cursor to a specific place in the e-mail address field. To change the content, I needed to delete the address and then re-enter it.



Every record created can be even further customized from a visual perspective. For databases with a large number of records, colors should make browsing much easier.



I didn't try it but Data Guardian settings offer an option of database synchronization. This is probably related with the desktop version of the Data Guardian product, but as I am not using it I wasn't able to test it. Overall Data Guardian is a rather good solution for storing various types of private data on your iPhone.



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