Tuesday, July 1, 2003

Create encrypted accounts with Cloak v2.0


By Bill Beaulieu

Chapura, Inc has introduced Cloak 2.0 (at http://www.chapura.com/cloak.php), a new release of their Cloak file security product for Palm handhelds. If you're accustomed to placing highly sensitive account information on your Palm handheld, Cloak, at $19.95, is one of the best investments you can make. And if you already own a copy of their original release from the fall of 2001, you'll see some really useful improvements.

The value of Cloak

Today, the Palm OS doesn't come with a utility that allows you to encrypt files stored in the device memory. Although you can hide information, it's very easy to dump the memory or hack into your device to retrieve that sensitive hidden information. Cloak solves this problem by allowing you to selectively create encrypted accounts for credit cards, bank accounts, Web sites, or just about any other kind of account you may have.

Account management

Cloak provides the ability to create accounts that are linked to categories on the Palm handeld. This feature is intuitive and easy to use.


You can change label fields on the Palm handheld or on your desktop. Likewise, you can change the type field on either the device or desktop to provide more clarity as to the purpose of the account. In all, you can create up to fifteen unique categories to store account files for easy reference. Chapura synchronization keeps both sides up-to-date.

New import/export functions

Cloak 1.0 focused on creating password accessible encrypted accounts that could be synchronized from the desktop to your device. Using Cloak to create and synchronize account information is very simple and intuitive, so this review focuses more on the new functionality. Release v2.0 retains all the functionality of the initial release, but it adds new amenities that assist advanced users in moving data from other applications to the Cloak desktop and ultimately to the device.

Cloak v2.0 provides the ability to store and share Cloak accounts via secure, encrypted files called vCloak files. You may import, export, and email vCloak files among other Cloak users.

When creating a vCloak file, you choose a password that's used to encrypt and decrypt the account data. The file import and export capability provides a mechanism to back up your data or import data from an existing database. The other application you're working with must have the ability to create a Comma Separated Value (.csv) or Text (.txt) file.