Secret! 2.1.3 Strong Encryption For Your Data on Windows Mobile

Secret! WM Pocket PCSecret! WM Smartphone Installation And Upgrade

Secret! runs on all Windows Mobile handhelds and phones with one the following operating systems:

Please install Secret! WM Pocket PC on Windows Mobile handhelds with a touchscreen, and Secret! WM Smartphone on Windows Mobile Smartphones without a touchscreen.

The first time you start Secret! you will have to define the new master password. As a precaution against typos, you must enter the new password twice.

If you have already stored data in Secret! and are reinstalling after a hard reset, enter the same password as you used before. ActiveSync will then prompt you to combine your Secret! desktop items with the handheld.

If you upgrade from a previous Secret! version, Windows Mobile will first uninstall the older version. If this is the case please make sure you answer No if you're asked if you want to remove your Secret! data.

If you switch from Palm to Windows Mobile, please refer to these instructions.

(Screen shot)Your Password

Everything you store in Secret! is encrypted with a password of your choice. This password is used to encrypt and decrypt your data and only someone knowing this password can access your data. No back doors, no hidden weakness! If you forget your password, you will have deinstall and reinstall Secret! as there's absolutely no way to get to your data without knowing the password.

The password can be up to 24 characters long and may consist of letters, digits, and special characters. The password is not case-sensitive to avoid problems with accidental caps lock.

Whenever you start Secret! you are presented with an on-screen keyboard to enter your password. You can choose between a standard alphanumeric keyboard and a numeric keyboard (with extra large keys) if your password only consists of digits. The default keyboard can be set in the Options dialog. You can also enter the password with the standard Windows Mobile input methods (Transcriber, Letter Recognizer, Keyboard).

You can encrypt different records with different passwords. This could be useful if you want to protect some especially important records with an extra-long and complicated password, or if you want to share some information with others using a general password.

Records that cannot be decrypted with the current password(s) will be marked with a hash sign (#) in the list. When you select such a record, Secret! will ask you for the password for that record. All passwords that you enter while you use Secret! are saved internally, so you do not need to enter them twice.

To change the password for one record, all records in a given category, or all records, select Options - Change Password. To protect against typos, you have to enter the new password twice.

Note that changing the password for multiple records will only work for those records that can currently be decrypted (i.e. are not marked with a hash sign). The same applies to exporting of records.

If you use Secret! Desktop, please synchronize during the password change. If you synchronize while you're not connected to the PC, and have modified desktop data, you may end up with a mix of old and new encrypted data.

Screenshot record listYour Data

The Secret! data is stored in records and categories, similar to the built-in Notes application. Each record screen has the well-known Memo category/record style. You can create as many categories as you want by just assigning a category name to a record, and store an arbitrary number of records in each. One record can store up to 32,000 characters.

A press-and-hold context menu is available on the record list for the most common tasks.

You can store anything you like in Secret!, e.g. credit card information, accounts, on-line passwords, transaction numbers, one-time passwords and everything else that needs to be kept Secret! We've even heard of people storing their diary or birthday present lists in Secret!

You can search all records in Secret! by selecting Records - Search. A list of records which match the given search is displayed. You can search in the current record by selecting Record - Search. If more than one match is found, Next and Cancel buttons are displayed at the bottom of the screen.

Of course, searching Secret! data only works inside Secret! and only with records that can currently be decrypted. Search is not case-sensitive and will find arbitrary sub-strings. Wildcards (*,?) are not supported.

(Screen shot)(Screen shot)To avoid accidental changes to very important data you can mark records as read-only in the Options menu.. Read-only mode is indicated by a gray background.

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(Screen shot)Collapse Paragraphs Mode

To let you quickly navigate in long records on the small handheld screen, Secret! features a special paragraph collapse mode. If you select on Options - Collapse Paragraphs, all paragraphs (text blocks separated by an empty line) are collapsed to their first line. Tap on the plus (+) sign to the left of a paragraph to expand it into full view and on the minus (-) sign to collapse them again. The collapse mode is not available in Secret! Desktop (because the PC screen is usually large enough to see the whole text).

Note: You cannot change data in collapse mode. However, when you switch off the collapse mode, the cursor is put at the currently selected entry.


(Screen shot)TAN/OTP Mode

Do you use transaction numbers (TANs) for online banking or other one-time passwords (OTP) for secure authorization? Secret! has a special built-in TAN mode that makes using TAN lists easier than ever.

Enter your list of TANs line-by-line into a standard record, then select menu Options - TAN mode to switch to TAN mode. Now you can use the TANs one-at-a-time. If a TAN is used, tap on the Delete button and the first entry will be erased from the list. You can undo the last removed entry. To prevent accidental changes, new TANs can only be entered in standard mode.

Used TANs are internally marked with an asterisk (*). You can always see the complete list of TANs by unselecting the TAN/OTP mode.

You can enter additional information below the TAN list, e.g. your account data. In normal mode, this text is separated from the TAN list by a single empty line.

If your bank uses the new iTAN scheme which requests TANs in arbitrary order, check the respective option in the Secret! Options and select the TAN to be removed from the list.

(Screen shot)Options

To configure various settings of Secret! tap on menu Options - Preferences.

You can have Secret! automatically close the text screen and encrypt all data after a certain time of inactivity.

To increase security against someone trying various passwords, you can configure Secret! to erase all data after a certain number of wrong password attempts. If the data is deleted, it can only be restored by synchronizing with the desktop.

If your password consists only of digits you can choose to start Secret! always with the numeric keyboard screen. Note that this makes it easier for someone trying to break your password because they can assume that you use only digits.

Secret! can open your text screen automatically when you have completed your password, thus saving you the extra tap on OK. Note that this makes it slightly easier to guess your password because one does not need to know the length of the password.

For online banking: If your bank uses the new iTAN scheme which requests TANs in arbitrary order you can select the option Allow remove TANs out of order.

You can select a custom font for displaying the text, e.g. with a bigger/smaller size, or fixed width (Courier).

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Data stored in Secret! is usually very important to you. Make sure you have a current backup available in case your handheld is lost or breaks down. The backup is always encrypted, so there is no danger if someone gets access to the file.

If you use Secret! Desktop, the provided ActiveSync/Windows Mobile Device Center component will store a synchronized copy on your desktop as
c:\Documents and Settings\<user>\AppData\secret\<devicename>-secret.dat
(where <devicename> is the name of your ActiveSync partnership. (On Vista/Win7 ...\AppData\Roaming\...). Note: you can change this path in the Secret! ActiveSync settings on your PC.

If you do not use Secret! Desktop, you should include the internal Pocket PC database LinkeSOFTSecretDB in your handheld backup, or manually export all records as *.pdb files which can be imported by Secret! on all platforms.

There is also an option to automatically create an (encrypted) backup of all Secret! data whenever Secret! closes. This backup can be imported by all Secret! versions.

If you had to hard reset your device or otherwise lost your Secret! data simply reinstall Secret!, then confirm when ActiveSync asks you to combine Secret! data from your PC and your handheld.


Sync Troubleshooting

Here are some tips what to do when you experience sync problems with Secret! Desktop and your Windows Mobile device.

First, check if Secret! appears in ActiveSync and is checked (View - Options). If it doesn't appear, you need to re-run the Secret! Desktop setup so the necessary ActiveSync entries are created.

If Secret! appears in the list but is unchecked please reboot your PC and or your device. In very rare cases, you may need to delete your ActiveSync partnership (File - Delete Mobile Device) then have ActiveSync recreate the partnership.

Note: on Windows Vista and Windows 7, ActiveSync is called Windows Mobile Device Center.

If you experience general sync problems with ActiveSync, try rebooting your Windows Mobile device by physically switching it off and on again. This is typically achieved by holding down the on/off button for several seconds. If it is a mobile phone you need to enter your PIN after you've switched it on again.


Secret! is shareware and must be licensed for a shareware fee when you decide to keep it. Please provide your owner name as displayed on the Today screen and in the Secret! registration dialog when purchase your license.

Please contact us for volume discounts and site licenses.

Version History











Many thanks to Jean-François Charpentier for the French translation.

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