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An interview with PasswordBox

Posted on: Monday 1st of July 2013

PasswordBox stores logins so users can access any of their online accounts instantly. The Canada-based service, which now has over 500,000 users, has recently announced that it is coming out of private beta. We spoke CEO Daniel Robichaud about what the service has to offer and what the future holds for PasswordBox.

1.What’s the big benefit your service is designed to offer?

The big benefit is we securely simplify your online life.

Efficiency: Save time with a 1-click login. No more usernames or passwords to type or remember.

Peace of Mind: Never forget another password – you’ll always have secured access with PasswordBox (and with PasswordBox mobile you always have them with you).

Security: Increased online security is guaranteed with PasswordBox’s super-secure password generation for every online account you own.

Legacy: Allows for total control of your digital life and the ability to entrust it to someone should something happen to you.

Sharing: Giving secure access to online accounts is easy with friends, family, employees. Users have total control of their passwords, as well as who can see and use them.

2.What inspired/motivated you to start doing this?

Inspiration often comes from the most unlikely of events. In this case, the inspiration was seeded during a trip home to visit family. At the time, my mother was uploading decades of family photos online. Shortly after she finished this project, she was involved in a car accident. Thankfully, she escaped serious injury, but I wondered what would have happened to all of the photos had things turned out differently. Without the username and password for her online photo sharing account, it would be nearly impossible for me to access them?

It didn’t take long to realize that this was an existing problem for many families. With so much of our lives online, what happens to all of those digital assets if something happens to us? If houses, cars and bank accounts are covered by a legal will, shouldn’t we be able to do the same for our digital property?

It was clear that creating a simple ‘legacy’ service wouldn’t completely address the problem. Users wouldn’t want to visit a third party site every time they changed a password or opened a new account. It also occurred to me that there was an additional, important element being left out – how to ensure the security of passwords during transfer to an heir.

This is when I identified a gap in the market, and the solution became clear – the need was an all-encompassing password management solution. One that would allow users to securely manage passwords with ease and efficiency, while also preserving their digital legacy.

This solution is PasswordBox, the only password manager that offers security and protection of your digital legacy throughout life and after.

3.How big is the market opportunity for your service?

There are 2.4 Billion internet users with on average 25 online accounts.  According to Gartner more than 50% of help desk calls are for people who lose or forget their passwords.  We think the opportunity is huge.

4.What is the business model? How do you/will you earn your keep?

PasswordBox is similar to Dropbox. Users can store up to 25 passwords and sync across all devices for free before being prompted to upgrade to a premium account. A premium account has unlimited password storage for $1 per month, billed annually.

Users can earn a free for life membership with unlimited password storage by referring friends to PasswordBox. Once five referrals have been accepted, you will automatically receive a free for life membership.

5. Where would you like to be in 3-5 years time?

To summarize the problem today – protecting our online privacy is a rising concern for most of us. The growing number of alarming incidents reported in the news are supporting the importance of the issue and makes us wonder what we can do to protect ourselves.

The Privacy Commissioner conducted a study and found out that 44% of the websites are leaking our information, mainly occurring while the user logs in.

The US government is taking action, by appointing the first White House Privacy Officer, which shows how the situation is serious.

Experts are educating us to the usage of ‘Strong Passwords’ and to limit how we share our information to ‘Trusted Accredited’ websites. Deloitte warns that over 90 percent of user-generated passwords will be vulnerable to hacking this year.

But the responsibility put on web-users to keep track multiple logins and make sure they are kept safe from others is not simple. What happens if you loose that piece of paper you wrote it on, or if your phone where you stored them is stolen? Who will take care of taking the proper actions with the different social media networks on which you are active on or had store some precious souvenirs, in case a dramatic incident happen to you.

At PasswordBox, we understand the problem.  Online consumers have an average of 25 online accounts and the majority of people reuse the same username and password across multiple websites.  There is no simple way to remember, manage and uphold your online data during life or if something were to happen to you.  Our mandate was to build a solution that empowers people to regain control of their digital life and securely simplify online management.  Putting users in control is the key to protect them against an increasing number of attacks.

There is no neutral party for online authentication… Facebook Connect and Google for example  already have so much information on its users that PasswordBox provides a secure and protected way to manage, control and authenticate your online accounts and will launch soon 2-factor authentication as well as  biometric fingerprint that will enable you to login to any sites with your thumb.

 

In 3 to 5 years, we want to be the trusted entry point to your online accounts and be seen as the leader in digital life management.

6.What obstacles will you need to overcome to get there?

I think I mentioned it above, but to further elaborate… we have an unrealistic expectation for online security i.e.: creating strong passwords for each of your online accounts and are expected to remember them. Further, many people can relate to the fact that we lack control and ability to manage our digital lives (during and after life). The responsibility to do so grows everyday and there are limited solutions. PasswordBox empowers its users and gives the control to back to you in a simple, well designed product that is easy to use (my mother uses it).