Many of you have worked with me in the past for help securing and organizing your passwords with my favorite password manager, 1Password. For those of you unfamililar with the app, 1Password is a cloud-based password management platform. There are two levels the app is capable of working on: the “basic” level, which simply offers the convenience of a secure digital vault for your existing passwords, and the more “advanced” level, which can help protect your online accounts by generating very complicated passwords for you.
At the basic level, 1Password shines as a highly convenient digital “notebook” designed to securely store your passwords and sync them across all of your devices. Setting up an account and installing the apps take just a few minutes, and the browser extension will immediately begin prompting you to remember passwords that you enter into your browser. Once your passwords have been entered into the vault this way, you can quickly use the app to log you back in to those sites with either a click of the 1Password browser extension symbol, or simply hitting Command and \ on your keyboard. Since your Master Password is all that’s needed to log in to any website, this level of usage allows you to go ahead and “forget all your passwords”, as 1Password’s website teasingly invites you to do. A downside to this approach is that most of our passwords are often an iteration on one or two different passwords that we’ve used for a long time, meaning they are not very secure should there be a breach.
The more advanced level of usage of 1Password entails utilizing the app’s Password Generator to create unique, complicated passwords for each website you wish to secure. This will both ensure that your passwords will be harder to compromise through “brute force” hacking, and also limit potential harm from a data breach to a single website’s login. I consider this level of use to be more advanced because it requires an added layer of trust in 1Password, since the passwords it creates are complicated and unable to be effectively memorized or guessed by design. Because of this, I often set people up with the first level initially, then once the comfort is there to use and trust the platform, I go back to help them with level two in a subsequent session.
If you would like any assistance with 1Password — whether it be a simple refresher course on your existing setup or a deeper dive to convert your passwords to stronger ones — reach out to us and we’d be happy to help!