Passwords are very common now a days and it is important that you use a strong password and a unique password for each application. This was OK 10 years ago when you had, maybe, two. Nowadays you have maybe a hundred passwords if you use a lot of web services. Remembering and storing all of those passwords is a bit of a hassle. This is where 1Password comes in. It is an app designed to store every password you use. Its a way of managing you passwords without having to go to all of the trouble of writing them down and ensuring that list is secure.
Storing Your Passwords
1Password finds a solution to a integral problem with humans and passwords. They must be long (the passwords), they must be remembered, humans can only pick one of the two options. 1Passwords is a password storage vault where you have to remember on password, the master password, 1Password takes care of remembering the rest.
When your first set up the app you are asked for a master password, this becomes the one and only password you have to remember. This sets up the vault in which every one password is stored. You now only have to remember this password.
When you enter your password, you are allowed access to the vault. This is where you can view every password 1Password stores. Its a visual viewer for your passwords. There are 6 main sections; logins for websites, accounts for services such as MobileMe, identities, notes for keeping ideas safe, software license keys, and wallet for credit cards. I am going to focus on the login section as this is the one mostly used, however, each section works in a similar manner.
This view allows you to see your username, the password and its strength. The advantage of using 1Password is that you can add tags, notes and attachments. These will all be encrypted on your Mac when you use the app. Every time you add a password it pulls the logo and the sample view of the webpages allowing you to quickly see which passwords you have.
This app also allows you to have more than one login for a website. I find this functionality in Safari is a bit clunky but works really well in 1Password.
Integrating With Your Web Browser
The 1Password app is used to manage your passwords. In your day to day usage you don’t really have the app open, it is all done with the browser integration. When you install the plugin, for Safari, Chrome and Firefox it integrates with the 1Password vault and allows you to retrieve and add passwords.
When you use a site that has a password, 1Password will input the password for the site. If you disable this functionality you use the drop down list to find the password you want. It will then automatically fill in the fields with the password. If you have more than one password you can choose which one you want from the list.
The power of this app comes when you add a new password. It will automatically pick up that you are entering a password and ask you to store the password for future use.
One of the big tools of 1Password is the ability to create long, complex and hard to crack passwords. The built in password generator allows you to create a cryptic password for the site you are using. You then paste this password into the password field on the site you are using and this complex password is stored.
1Password has the ability to store you passwords and allow you to easily retrieve them. With this app you only have to remember one password. It also means you can have long complex passwords on the sites you use to ensure they are harder to crack. This app also goes further than simply storing passwords. The browser integration, the folders and tags option mean that using these passwords is simple. I also like the ability to store credit card data, although I have used my credit card online so many times that I can remember the number, it does mean you don’t have to find it when you want to use it.
This app does take a little while to get used to, although there is a good guide to help you get used to the app. It is a little bit annoying that you have to re-add all of the passwords you use, I would like an ability to pull the passwords from what Safari or the other apps remember.
This app is one I definitely recommend and having discussed with various other users it is one they have come to depend on and is a useful tool in their arsenal. It is an “all your eggs in one basket” solution, however it is certainly better than writing them down on paper or a spread sheet.