When it comes to Windows, text passwords have always been used traditionally to logon to Windows user accounts. And the text passwords should be long and complex so that people can’t guess them easily. Remembering a long and complex password is not easy. It becomes a headache especially when you have to logoff and logon to the computer frequently.
Although Windows 8 offers new forms of authentication like a picture password or a PIN code, the previous versions of Windows still use the text password authentication system. Windows can also use finger print security but you need a separate hardware device for setting up finger print security.
Rohos Logon Key is a fantastic free utility which turns your USB flash drive into a logon key. This means that you don’t have to enter your password again and again manually. Just insert the USB flash drive and you’re logged on automatically.
Installing and using Rohos Logon Key free is quite simple. After installation, when you start it for the first time, it will show that the USB key is not configured yet. To configure it, click on “Setup USB Key”.
There are a few things that I would like to clear before proceeding further. If there is any data stored in the USB flash drive, it will not be lost and will stay intact. Rohos Logon Key will only create its own files for use and not touch the current data.
If you are concerned with the security, Rohos Logon Key does not store the actual user passwords in text form in the USB drive. The application data is stored with AES 256-bit encryption on the drive. So most probably, your user account will remain safe even if you lose access to the USB drive.
If you click on the “Setup USB Key”, it will give you an option to either disable the current key or setup a new USB key.
You will need to enter your Windows account password before proceeding further. Clicking on the Setup USB Key will not give you any further option but will automatically create a logon key on the detected USB drive.
Let’s go to the USB drive and see what has been created there. Normally, you will not see anything additional in the USB drive. To see what Rohos Logon Key has added to the USB drive, you will need to go to “Folder Options” and uncheck “Hide protected operating system files” under View tab. You will also need to select “Show hidden files”, folders and drives. After that, you will be able to see a hidden folder called “_rohos”. It will contain a single file called “roh.roh”. If you try to open the file in a text editor, you will see some gibberish text which means that the file is encrypted.
There is one caution that I should give here. The free version of Rohos Logon Key does not provide an emergency logon that helps to access the computer in case you lost the USB drive. As an additional security measure, you should create an additional administrative user and keep its password in a safe place so that you can access the computer in case of emergency.
The professional version of Rohos Logon Key also provides a 2 factor authentication (USB Key + password) but it is needed only when you want to work in a very highly secure environment. Otherwise you can safely implement the free version security to make your user account more secure.
What methods do you use to secure your Windows accounts?