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Issue #439: December 20–26, 2015

Q: I have been using Dashlane password program for about 3 weeks now on my Windows 10 upgrade. My Avast Internet Security came on today and said it was a threat. I have looked at reviews and see many pros and cons. What is your opinion and should I remove it for another program you may like better. I like the ease of having passwords added automatically but want security. Thanks. I really enjoy your column and your Geek Christmas lights!!

– Anne D.
Niceville, Florida

A: Thanks for the compliment, Anne! For those of you who may not know what Anne means about my “Geek Christmas Lights” see the Shameless Plug at the end of this week’s column.

Before I get to your answer, Anne, I want to make sure the rest of my readers know what you’re asking about. Dashlane is one of a type utility application called a Password Manager. Its job is to securely store all of the passwords that are needed to get you into all of the various secured websites that you probably visit every day. Such programs allow you to pick complex and thus, very secure passwords without having to remember them all. Once you have everything set up, the only password you need to remember is the one for the password manager itself. It will automatically, safely, and securely supply the passwords you’ve configured for all your other websites. (Geek Tip: A password manager would make an excellent Christmas gift for a loved one!)

Now Anne, because of the way password managers operate, it is common for virus scanners to misinterpret their behavior as a threat. This is especially true immediately following an update to the password manager software or data files. While there are other password managers available, Dashlane is among the best rated, and I don’t think you should interpret what is coming out of Avast! as a statement on Dashlane’s security. Switch if you feel you must, but there are some unique features in Dashlane that you will lose in the move, such as the automated password changer, receipt tracking for online shopping, and more. I have two links to share with you to help you decide. First, is a PC Magazine review of Dashlane at and the other is a page from the Dashlane help forums explaining why antivirus software sometimes detects Dashlane as a threat, and how to prevent it, at Good luck, and see you at the light show!

• • •

 Shameless Plug: For eight seasons now, I’ve built a large Christmas lights and music show called The Geek Lights on the Corner in my front yard each November. Spouse Peripheral calls it our “Jesus Birthday Party”. I call it “Where technology meets the true meaning of Christmas.” Whether you wish to be inspired, entertained, or simply dazzled by about 85,000 lights programmed to dance to music, I encourage all of you readers within a reasonable drive of Niceville/Bluewater Bay to come out and see the show! You’ll find directions, show schedules, and all the other details that you need on the show’s page at For those of you who don’t live close enough to visit, here is a short video of the show, put together by videographer Devon Ravine of the Northwest Florida Daily News: Enjoy, and Merry Christmas, Geeks!

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