The latest online storage features let web-based password manager services such as Passpack tackle what has long been a security no-no: storing all your user names and passwords online.

In addition to a site log-in, Passpack employs a "Packing Key" passphrase to encrypt your stored cache of account data.

Once downloaded and decrypted, that cache stays only on the computer you're using until you save it, at which point it's encrypted again and re-sent to Passpack for storage.

Passpack doesn't ever have access to the packing key, and you can't decrypt your passwords without it - so be careful not to lose the key.

You can use Passpack to log you in automatically to sites, although you might need to train it on a specific site.

The free Passpack service allows you to store only up to 100 log-ins, but the company may add premium levels of service.

OUR VERDICT

While Passpack includes some good antiphishing measures, password-stealing attacks could prove to be an Achilles' heel if they target the service's log-in and packing key, so you might want to use it solely for less-important (namely, nonfinancial) sites until it has been around a while to prove itself.