How A Fingerprint Reader Makes Data Security For Advisors Easier And Tighter

Thursday, February 07, 2013 21:31
How A Fingerprint Reader Makes Data Security For Advisors Easier And Tighter

Tags: privacy; security

After my presentation about security last week at the TD Ameritrade Institutional Conference, an advisor asked about LastPass And Roboform, two of the leading password managers. I had mentioned that you could use Roboform with a fingerprint reader instead of manually entering passwords. When the advisor didn’t know what I meant, I showed him the fingerprint reader on my laptop.

“Oh,” he said, “that’s what that little thing is. I have one of those on my computer.”

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I’m among the miniscule number of people who uses a fingerprint reader instead entering passwords on my computer. That this advisor did not even know that he had a fingerprint reader on his computer got me thinking that I need to tell my readers about this handy piece of hardware. So here goes.
I’ve been using a fingerprint reader to log into Windows for about three years. Sometimes I have to scan my finger three or four times before it works. But even with that hassle, it’s much easier than entering a strong password manually. It’s also more secure because, just in case you are victimized by key-logger malware that surreptitiously tracks every key you enter, you’re not entering your passwords. The key-logger is defeated by the fingerprint scanner in addition to being easier than manual entry.
My new desktop does not have a fingerprint reader. So I bought one for $50 and it works great.
To make it work, Windows users should go into “Control Panel” and search for “enroll fingerprint.” Just follow the instructions to swipe a finger on each hand and Windows will remember your fingerprint.
To enter Windows, I swipe. That’s nice. No one else can get into my computer, except for a network administrator. In addition, the fingerprint reader came with software for Roboform, my password manager. So instead of entering passwords to get into websites and pay for items purchased on the Web retrieve other data held encrypted in my password manager, I swipe my finger. (LastPass can also use a fingerprint reader.)
Tomorrow, I will be speaking about security with Brian Edelman, a financial advisor tech consultant and security expert, at a webinar about Data Security For Advisors. One of the issues that we’ll address is LastPass versus Roboform. Edelman is claiming LastPass may be better than Roboform because its enterprise version is more affordable and helpful to advisors. We’re trying to get to the bottom of this issue by tomorrow at 4 ET. Please join us for the session, which is free to A4A members ($60 a year to attend all our weekly webinars and get CFP and IMCA CE credit 24/7 on replays).  


Comments (3)

Dear Andy,
Based on your very informative article above, and the excellent webinar you presented last Friday 2/8/13 with Brian Edelman, I will be looking into both a fingerprint reader and password manager in the days ahead. It's obvious from everything that you and Brian said that there is no such thing as too much security. In fact, layers upon layers of security is probably not such a terrible idea. As we all know, the hackers will go after the easy targets, the ones who fail to take basic precautions (just as other traditional criminals do). Your insight into this subject is very much appreciated and the advisory community should be thankful that we have a strong and forceful advocate in you and the A4A organization.
SailorBoy , February 11, 2013
Just out of curiosity, what's the procedure for moving to a new PC? Does Roboform "travel well" to a new PC, taking all PWs with it?
jordans41- , February 11, 2013
JordanS41: Roboform and LastPass synch with your mobile devices and other computers. For example, this weekend, I bought a new laptop/tablet and one of the first things I did was to synch my passwords to the cloud-based version. It took just a few minutes and is fairly easy to figure out.

SailorBoy. The fingerprint reader nice. Wish I had one for my phone and tablet because it is so much easier than typing in long passwords. The fingerprint reader I bought for $50 is
agluck , February 11, 2013

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