Still using the same passwords for multiple websites, stores, and (gasp!) online investment accounts? Here’s a much simpler, safer solution.
I don’t actually re-use passwords for any of my online accounts except ones I don’t care at all about (such as those for free services, forums, etc.). Hopefully, you don’t either.
For years, though, we used a little black address book, stuffed with Post-Its to save our (unique) passwords. That worked well enough, unless the account was registered by another family member, in which case we had to go find their address book.
Or when we were not at home, when we needed a password (too often). Also, there was a little concern about a potential burglary, resulting in every account we have being violated, since we kept our address books close to our computers.
We finally bit the bullet a couple of years ago, and checked into password managers. After trying a couple, we went with 1Password, and it’s made online life much simpler and much more secure.
The top reasons 1Password is so great:
Simple logins. I no longer need to pull out my address book (and possibly rifle through Post-Its). Since 1Password is active most of the time when I’m on my computer, I can login to pay bills, etc. just by clicking on the username field on, for example, my bank’s login page. 1Password detects that click, and autofills the username and password.
On the rare occasion autofill doesn’t work, I just click on the 1Password icon in the toolbar, and tell it to authenticate.
Login from anywhere: We can access any of our accounts from anywhere we happen to be.
Strong passwords: We can use 1Password-generated very long passwords easily — just click “ok” rather than typing in our own (much easier to guess) password. Since we’re not typing the passwords, password length doesn’t matter to us. They certainly no longer need to be memorable.
Credit card storage: We can even save credit card info — name, address, ZIP, expiration date, and security code — and easily paste the entire record into an online payment page — very convenient when shopping online, and saves typos followed by trying again from scratch. We can even give the cards nicknames, so they can be chosen quickly from a list.
(Most importantly) 1Password is super secure. In over 15 years, 1Password has never been hacked. Since 1Password never sees your account password or secret key, no one can ever access your account.
Safer than browser-provided password storage: One last thing on security: Many people rely on Chrome to save their passwords for them, for easy logins. That’s not such a great idea. Anybody who is able to get access to your computer, tablet or phone will immediately get access to all of your passwords without having to supply an additional password. That’s quite an exposure.
1Password works on all our devices — my Windows computer, the rest of the family’s Macs, our iPhones and iPads. And it works with mobile app logins as well — not just web apps. (which browser-based password storage cannot).
Do yourself a big favor: start using 1Password to manage your passwords, to take advantage of the improved ease of use and your vastly improved online security.