Dashlane is Getting Worse Despite All Obvious Evidence to the Contrary
Since Dashlane 5 was released I’ve read several professional reviewers glowing accounts of how great Dashlane is…but is it really? Seasoned users like myself will tell you a completely different story.
Dashlane’s Video Introducing Dashlane 5
A month or two ago Dashlane sent me an email that had a very excited tone to it. They’d just released a big new update…Dashlane 5. It was supposed to be amazing! I was super busy at the time and didn’t have time to really check it out…but something occurred the other day to make me think I needed to.
This is my impression of the video and what I found at both Dashlane’s website as well as while using it as I was checking things out.
It seems to me that Dashlane focuses way to much on appearances and making things look good than they do on matters of security, making things work correctly and addressing their longtime customer concerns. I appreciate visually pleasing resources perhaps more than most do…but my quick impression is that Dashlane looks more polished and professional than ever…but that their continually pleasing exterior is hiding some very ugly truths.
Why I Think Dashlane’s Service Has Degraded Overtime
I guess I’m somewhat spoiled because I’ve used Dashlane for a very long time. At least 4 years. In the beginning Dashlane was so amazing that the pared down services of today pale greatly in comparison. But I don’t think I’m unique in expecting that things like apps will improve with time…not get worse.
As the company continues to take away features from ios users they tell us that we’ve been heard. They tell us that all the things they’ve taken away won’t matter anymore once we’ve seen the new and exciting things that are coming. But frankly…I’ve been waiting for 2 years now.
Not only do I not see any new things coming but I just see my overall security getting worse and worse the longer I continue to use Dashlane.
Dashlane’s Service Was Better 2 Years Ago
Why do I say that? Because I felt more secure 2 years ago. That’s why I was such a vocal and enthusiastic supporter of their service! Ask anyone who knows me. 2 years ago I was Dashlane’s biggest cheerleader. I bugged anyone and everyone to join. I couldn’t understand why someone wouldn’t…it’s free after all. For all the amazing benefits Dashlane offered it was a no brainer. But that was 2 years ago.
It really makes me sad to realize that I haven’t suggested anyone begin using Dashlane in a very long time. It makes me sad because I think I finally have come to the realization that it’s not going to change…ever.
I think the reason that you see all the glowing reviews are because they’re from brand new users who have nothing to compare it to. If you’ve never used a password manager before then Dashlane might seem great…but for anyone with any knowledge…Dashlane is spread way too thin and they are not devoting the proper resources to the proper places. Customer service has been an ongoing problem which thankfully I’ve not had to utilize in quite some time. But based upon current reviews their customer service has not been improved upon either. Frankly I’ve seen no improvements of any kind in several years…just degradation of service which I’ve received explanations for…but those too haven’t really been all that illuminating in the bigger, long-term picture.
You can read several other ios apps users’ reviews in the screenshot below…most of which I can concur with. You can also read Dashlane supports reply to another blog post I wrote a little less than a year ago expressing some similar but less alarming concerns. The post was called ‘Dashlane for ios Has Serious Problems Revealed by the Cloudbleed Incident.’ In it I was frustrated because I found it nearly impossible to use Dashlane to change passwords following Cloudbleed. The situation has not changed. The promises made by the support team in their reply, which you’ll find by scrolling down to the end of the post never came to fruition and it’s still as difficult trying to change a password in Dashlane for ios.
A Few Examples of Things That Have Gotten Worse
2 years ago on the heels of Heartbleed was when Dashlane released their amazing new Password Changer. Password Changer was ground breaking! It was exciting to anyone interested in data security! It was the flashiest kind of announcement that could have been made right after Heartbleed. There was only one problem…it didn’t work. In retrospect this was another instance of perception over function.
Dashlane said it would take time to program in all the requirements for each individual website. I got that. I’m sure I couldn’t appreciate how incredibly complex that task must be…but come on guys…it’s been 2 years now and it still doesn’t work!
Password Changer is the single most defining aspect of who I’m beginning to realize Dashlane as a company really is. Appearances are so much more important than truths!
Password Changer’s Lack of Functionality and Unfulfilled Promises Should Have Been a Red Flag for Me
But frankly…I didn’t want to see it…I wanted Dashlane to succeed. I wanted to be excited about all that they were capable of.
More Ways Dashlane Was Better 2 Years Ago
I used to get security alerts often from my ios Dashlane app…I no longer do! I can’t even think of the last time I received an alert from Dashlane warning me about anything it’s been that long ago. Something that happened recently made me acutely aware of this. As most of my readers know I use iPads exclusively. It takes quite a few iPads to make that work…because no matter what anyone tells you iPads cannot replace computers…but that’s another story. It so happened that I had the opportunity to see my Dashlane account on a Mac computer. It was on Dashlane’s Security Checkup screen.
I was shocked at what I saw!
I learned that I had at least 54 accounts that were compromised out of 431. Compromised means that the website was breached and my password is more than likely in the hands of hackers. I also learned that Imgur, where I have an account, was recently breached too. We’d just arrived home from traveling so I assumed I’d missed some things while on vacation. Later that day I made a concentrated effort to go scope things out using the Dashlane apps on my iPads. But I was surprised to see that there was nothing to scope! No notifications. No compromised passwords…no alert about Imgur…nothing! As far as my ios app told me my Dashlane data is as secure as ever.
The ios app has no method of accomplishing a security check…this is a serious failing. The only way to discover if a password isn’t secure is by viewing the individual password or by viewing Password Changer. Password Changer displays only 30 passwords of my 431. Of those displayed none are highlighted as compromised. Instead 7 of them are flagged as unsafe. That’s a huge difference…54 compromised versus 7 unsafe. On the Mac computer unsafe was also shown as a category so I’m left to assume that the ios app will never ever show me when a password has been compromised. I assume this because currently none of my 431 passwords are designated as compromised. Nor do I ever recall having seen one designated that way in my 4 years of use.
So what I learned is that mobile users aren’t provided with full information about the present state of their passwords safety.
This is not acceptable!
Most of my readers also know that I religiously try to stay on top of security matters and I write about them often…so how did so many of my passwords become compromised without my knowledge? Apparently Dashlane took that feature away from ios users too. Either that or it was never present. Either answer isn’t acceptable. Because knowing how safe your passwords are isn’t a superfluous luxury for mobile users. This shouldn’t be a privilege only those people using computers are granted. Can you tell that I’m getting angrier as I write this?
I also used to be able to find out a password that Dashlane assigned to something even if I forgot to have Dashlane save it…or more likely…Dashlane forgot to save it. Because there have been frequent instances of using Dashlane to save a password…but then going to check it afterwards only to discover that Dashlane didn’t actually save it…the password field is blank! Sadly, this feature is no longer available for ios users. If that happens now…and believe me it does more often than I’d like…oftentimes it’s because Dashlane doesn’t ask me at the right time to save passwords…the apps timing is off. So now I have to contact the company in question and try to go through the lost password procedure that they have in place.
Dashlane simply doesn’t work very well for Apple mobile users anymore, which is really sad because originally that’s who Dashlane was created for. Does it work well for desktop and laptop users? Maybe…I don’t know because I don’t use them. 3 years ago Dashlane was seen as the Cadillac of Password Managers…which is how they justified their very inflated annual charge. Today I suspect I could find as much utility as Dashlane provides me for free from many other sources. Apple’s key chain is one of many.
In conclusion lets tally up here all of the things that iPad and iPhone users have lost over time due to their keeping Dashlane as their password manager provider:
• Dashlane took away generating and storing payment receipts for me.
• Dashlane took away all functionality from their in-app web browser.
• Dashlane took away password history and along with it my ability to find a password when Dashlane messes up.
• Dashlane quit warning me when Accounts I used were breached!
• Dashlane quit telling me when my passwords were compromised
• Dashlane took away the ability to easily change a password.
One additional problem the ios app has had since day one which has never been addressed or fixed is this. The ios app has this annoying propensity to always revert to obscure passwords which include primarily symbols. These kinds of passwords aren’t permitted by most websites and often there’s no way to tweak Dashlane settings so I’m forced to manually create passwords which kind of defeats the purpose.
My overall take on Dashlane in 2017 is that unless you have a computer that you use frequently and want to manage your Dashlane account and data using that…it’s just not a very useful tool for ios mobile users anymore. And it may not even be a great tool for computer users…I don’t know for sure. Some of the reviews I read would seem to indicate that might be the case though. Furthermore, the argument could be made that continuing to use Dashlane is actually harming me more than helping. Because it’s quite possible that LastPass, 1Password, or another password manager service might be making me aware of breaches and data security events that Dashlane used to.
It’s become increasingly evident to me that the world desperately needs the password manager that Dashlane originally set out to create. I don’t know if that will ever happen…or maybe it has and I’m just unaware? But the thought crossed my mind that it’s likely there are disgruntled Dashlane employees who are also unhappy with the different direction their company took…and how cool it would be if one, or some of them were to break away and build what was once begun with such promise.
Only time will tell. In the meantime I have some serious research ahead of me as my initial quick search revealed that none of the present password manager alternatives seem to offer stellar solutions. In fact each one sounds worse than the next. Also my annual subscription with Dashlane doesn’t end until September 2018 leading me to fully appreciate the words of one LastPass ios app reviewer (Steve the unhappy Gmail user) who said he was staying with LastPass because…‘the devil you know is better than the one you don’t!’ A very insightful comment given the situation :-)
Please feel free to leave me any comments by scrolling way down towards the bottom of the screen and looking for the small comments box.