I hate to sound like Bob Ryan from the television show Entourage, but:
What if I were to tell you that having to remember all of your passwords was no longer necessary? Does that sound like something you might be interested in?
If you find yourself constantly forgetting your passwords or worse yet, using the same predictable password for everything you do, then it’s time to discover the wonderful world of 1Password (or to be honest, the world of password management applications in general). Have I managed to grab your attention? If so, stick around for a chance to win a free copy of the 1Password application (iPhone/iPad) – I have three to give away for the both the iPad and iPhone!
When you load the software on your device it will prompt you for a four-digit PIN number, behind which all of your password data is stored. The idea is that you enter all of your log in information into the application and upon doing so, you no longer have to remember all of your individual passwords – you only need your four-digit PIN number. 1Password also has a built-in web browser so you don’t even need to leave the application, you can simply touch the account you wish to use and 1Password automatically signs you in.
Another advantage that comes with using this tool is that you no longer have to worry about making a password easy to remember. Since all you’re required to remember is a four-digit PIN, you don’t have to worry about creating a different password for every site that you visit. If you’re feeling adventurous you could even dial in some really obscure passwords with all sorts of characters – ones you’d normally shy away from because they make remembering a password almost impossible. There are countless stories on the internet about people being hacked in one location and then because they used the same password for multiple sites the hackers were able to gain access to other accounts as well.
The desktop application is a natural extension of the mobile app, as it allows you to perform the same functions, but with a bit more “pizzaz”. The 1Password desktop also uses a master password instead of a PIN code so it keeps all of your passwords safe. I mean, doesn’t this screen just scream security:
But here comes the really great part…
If you use their desktop application (I use the Mac version), you can make life even simpler by using one of the the 1Password web extensions for Google Chrome, Firefox, or Safari. Here’s how it works…
When you sign into a site that requires a password, 1Password prompts you to save your login information:
Upon doing so, the user-name/password are automatically stored in the application. The next time you arrive at the site when a log in is required, you can simply click the 1Password extension and tell it which account you’d like to use. That’s all there is to logging in from this point forward.
If that sounds like to much of a bother you can even hit “CMD + \” to sign in automatically.
Another great feature of the browser extension is the ability to create strong passwords. I know it SEEMS like using your cat’s name is a good idea (how many of you just gasped when I guessed your password), but it’s generally a bad idea. If you let 1Password generate a password for you it will be safe, and very difficult to hack. I mean, just look at that monster below!
So you’re probably wondering just how safe this system really is. Well here’s the deal. Your passwords are stored in a proprietary file format with 1Password and the file is encrypted. Agilebits, the makers of 1Password claim that “it would take millions of years for a criminal to decrypt your data using a brute force attack“. If you’d like to read more about the technical side of things, check out the 1Password Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) page here.
Here’s the bottom line – this app removes the “human factor” from having to create, store and remember passwords; passwords that you probably did a poor job of creating in the first place. Why not forget about all of your passwords by making them more robust, leaving you with but a single password to remember. Seems like a pretty sweet deal to me.
If you’d like to give this app a try, I have six licenses to give away (3 iPad, 3 iPhone). To enter, you simply need to do ANY ONE of the following:
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