VeraCrypt is a fork of and a successor to TrueCrypt, which ceased development last year (more on them later.) The development team claims they’ve addressed some of the issues that were raised during TrueCrypt’s initial security audit, and like the original, it’s free, with versions available for Windows, OS X, and Linux. If you’re looking for a file encryption tool that works like and reminds you of TrueCrypt but isn’t exactly TrueCrypt, this is it. VeraCrypt supports AES (the most commonly used), TwoFish, and Serpent encryption ciphers, supports the creation of hidden, encrypted volumes within other volumes. Its code is available to review, although it’s not strictly open source (because so much of its codebase came from TrueCrypt.) The tool is also under constant development, with regular security updates and an independent audit in the planning stages (according to the developers.)

Those of you who nominated VeraCrypt praised it for being an on-the-fly encryption tool, as in your files are only decrypted when they’re needed and they’re encrypted at rest at all other times, and most notably for being the spiritual (if not almost literal) successor to TrueCrypt. Many of you praised them for being a strong tool that’s simple to use and to the point, even if it’s lacking a good-looking interface or tons of bells and whistles. You also noted that VeraCrypt may not support TrueCrypt files and containers, but can convert them to its own format, which makes moving to it easy.

Dashlane launched in beta back in 2012, and has risen to prominence since largely because of its attention to its interface (which is sharp and easy to use), simple security, easy auto-login, form auto-fill, and logging of purchases and orders from online shops. It’s picked up a number of updates since then, including support for two-factor authentication, the ability to share passwords with emergency contacts in case you can’t access your accounts, and most recently, the ability to change multiple passwords on dozens of websites with a few clicks. Dashlane will also notify you if you have an account on a site that’s hacked, and with its built-in password changer, you can have Dashlane reset the password to a new, unique, strong one without leaving the interface. If you want to change all your passwords at once, you can do that too. The purchase tracking and digital wallet features make it easy to make online purchases even at retailers you don’t have accounts with, and search all of your online orders in one place, while secure note and document sharing gives you a place to store passwords that can’t be automatically filled in. Dashlane also gives you the option to store your passwords locally only in an encrypted vault (where only you have the master key), or to sync them to your devices and access them on the web. Dashlane supports Windows, OS X, Android, and iOS, and has plugins for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. It’s free to download and use, but if you want your passwords synced across devices, you’ll need Dashlane Premium, at $40/yr.

Dashlane’s nomination thread was also pretty popular, with many of you praising the tool for making password management simple and easy to do—almost an inviting task that you’ll actually want to do, which is an accomplishment on its own. Making people actually want to take control of their security because the interface is easy enough to use is a big deal, and Dashlane’s UI shows you right up front what your overall security “score” is, and gives you easy tips to improve it right then and there. Those of you who use it praised it for its seamless syncing, digital wallet, auto-fill across all of your devices, and its new multi-site password changer. It’s not perfect though—a number of you noted that it’s great…as long as you were grandfathered into its free plan (when syncing was still free), and noted that $40/yr was steep considering the competition is generally less and on-par feature-wise.

We are in the middle of the second decade of the 21st century. The various American companies which dominated the tech world are losing their acceptance is Asian countries. Google is blocked in China. Xiaomi is ruling the smartphone market of developing nations. Now, Russia, the biggest country in the world, is planning to ditch Microsoft software for locally crafted alternatives.

Starting the with 6,000 employees in Moscow, the Russian government will be replacing Microsoft Outlook and Exchange with their homegrown MyOffice which is developed by Russia-based New Cloud Technology. The email system will be installed by Rostelecom PJSC which is a state-run carrier.

This decision is the fruition of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s intentions of promoting local software over products of foreign companies. Putin has been supporting home-grown software since 2014 when American companies withdrew premium services from Crimea after Russia’s annexation.

MyOffice will eventually reach 600,000 municipal employees working in Moscow. The Russian ministry has created a list of 2000 local alternatives of foreign software.

“Russia-developed software is not inferior to foreign software, but it’s much cheaper and, most importantly, provides reliable data protection,” said Sergey Kalugin, head of IT department in Moscow.

Source: Bloomberg