1Password: The smart person's guide

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Image: Agile Bits

Most computer users have dozens of passwords: Banking websites, social media, bill payments, online retailers—all of them require secure logins. Because so many websites vary their password requirements it’s hard to use just one password that’s easy to remember, not to mention what a bad idea that is.

Keeping your online identity secure requires the use of complicated and varied passwords, and managing all of them can be nearly impossible. 1Password is a multiplatform app designed to solve your problems.

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TechRepublic’s smart person’s guide about 1Password is a quick introduction to this app, as well as a “living” guide that will be updated periodically as new features or changes are made.

SEE: Check out all of TechRepublic’s smart person’s guides.

Executive summary

  • What is 1Password? 1Password is a password management app that stores all your login information behind one master password. It is available for iOS, macOS, Android, and Windows.
  • Why does 1Password matter? Password hacking continues to grow in sophistication, making complex, hard-to-crack passwords essential. 1Password can auto generate random passwords, greatly increasing account security.
  • Who does 1Password affect? 1Password affects anyone who uses the internet. Secure passwords are essential in the internet age, and 1Password makes managing them incredibly simple.
  • When is 1Password happening? 1Password has been on the market for 10 years and continues to grow in sophistication and ease of use.
  • How do I make use of 1Password? Interested users can download 1Password at its website, in the App Store for iOS, and Google Play for Android.

What is 1Password?

1Password is an app used for managing the multitude of passwords each of us has nowadays. Put simply, it’s a secure vault where you can put passwords, credit card numbers, and other sensitive personal information.

1Password uses a single logon for access to all stored passwords, and users can also use their fingerprints to log in on applicable devices.

Users who want to share information among family members will find 1Password particularly useful: it has a family sharing system built right in. Administrators can share select information with certain family members, enabling parents and children to access shared accounts.

Apps are available for iOS, Android, Windows, and macOS. The desktop versions of the app can also automatically sign in to secured accounts if a user is logged in to 1Password.

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Why does 1Password matter?

Information security has always been an arms race, and if anything it has only become more intense. It’s hackers vs. infosec professionals in a constant competition to one up each other: that’s why apps like 1Password are so important.

1Password can’t guarantee you’ll never be compromised but it’s a good start. The app itself uses AES-256 encryption, which is incredibly strong and nearly impossible to crack. It is made even more secure with the use of fingerprint scanning technology like TouchID: If you’re not the one with your phone 1Password isn’t getting unlocked.

To round matters out, 1Password will automatically generate complicated random passwords for you. Since it is automatically filling them out itself you won’t need to worry about forgetting them.

In short, 1Password matters because hackers are getting better and better at cracking weak passwords.

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Who does 1Password affect?

How many passwords does the average internet user have? It’s hard to know how many are unique, but the average US email address has 130 accounts registered to it. Anyone with even a fraction of that many accounts is affected by 1Password.

It is very tempting to reuse passwords or vary new ones just slightly, and that’s a serious security risk. 1Password can do a lot to nullify that risk on both mobile devices and traditional computers.

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When is 1Password happening?

1Password launched in 2006 and came to mobile devices beginning in 2012. It is available free for Windows, macOS, iOS, and Android. You can download and install it today.

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How can I make use of 1Password?

1Password is free to download and use, though some of its more advanced features will cost you money. Premium features can be unlocked for a one-time $9.99 purchase. Additional functions include:

  • Additional categories (in addition to passwords, credit cards, and personal IDs)
  • The ability to create custom fields in a stored item
  • An Apple Watch app
  • One-time password generation (available only on supported websites)
  • Custom password organization and tagging
  • The ability to create multiple storage vaults

A family plan with access for five people costs $4.99 per month and is billed annually.

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