We all (hopefully) know that it's important not only to have good passwords, but to keep them secure. It may not be the worst thing in the world, but it can be extremely painful (and life-altering) to have your identity stolen. With that in mind, here's the challenge... how to manage the plethora of passwords that we have? Needless to say, this can be a daunting task.
One of the more common solutions to this problem has been to store passwords in a spreadsheet. There are several issues with this method. First of all, what if someone were to obtain that one file? Game over. What if the file were to be corrupted or otherwise lost? Again, game over. This is why I turn to a dedicated password manager. There are many password managers available, but only one that has held my attention.
1Password is an app that I came across a few years ago while attending MacWorld in San Francisco (I actually met one of the developers who convinced me to give it a try). After spending a day or two using the app, I was sold. Their app (or a version of their app) will run on just about anything you have... Windows, Mac, iOS, Android and even Windows Phone (sorry, no Blackberry support).
Not only is 1Password great for storing passwords to web sites, but it's also great for storing Social Security Numbers, credit card information, software license keys, miscellaneous secure notes and much more. It acts as a secure vault for anything you deem sensitive. This is where most people would (justifiably) ask about encryption of their data within 1Password. In short, it's secure. Click here for more information about the encryption they use. In addition, 1Password will ask you to set a master password. This is the password you will use to log in to the system.
Once you have logged in, you will see your secure data divided into various categories.
The 1Password interface is clean and intuitive, two of the requirements I have for any app that I run. In most cases, you will feel right at home using the app because it will feel natural to you.
Are you ready for the best part?
Because 1Password offers a version of their app for most platforms, they've designed a way to sync your data between devices... automatically! This means that you can add new passwords and other secure information on one device, and within seconds, that information has been synced with your other devices. This is available either using a free Dropbox account or Apple's iCloud service. Regardless of the syncing option you choose, it's simple to set up, simple to use, and secure.
One last thing...
For those who enjoy convenience, there are also free browser plug-ins. These plug-ins allow you to automatically log into your favorite password-protected web sites without manually entering your username and password. 1Password is smart enough to know what site you're visiting, and can auto-fill the appropriate fields, and even click the "log in" button for you.This is also a great way to prevent phishing attacks. It really can't get any easier or more secure.
In order to serve 1Password the justice that it deserves, I would have to go on and on about every feature that it offers in great detail. Rather than doing that, I will simply point you to their web site to get more information.
These are some of the reasons why I consider 1Password to be an indispensable iOS app for me, and I highly recommend it.