Secretly excited over security

“I found the time to setup more security” – said no one ever.

That is until someone decided to really think through the problems behind security and come out with a proper solution that really helped ones daily workflow. Passwords on computers have been hacked, cracked, and brute force attacked for years, and it’s not going to stop anytime soon. On my infinite quest for ever expanding improvement (kaizen) looking for a password solution is not an easy task.
This couldn’t possibly be a post about all of the possible ways to keep yourself secure on the web, and I won’t even attempt to make that claim; instead let me brief you on the research I have done and the solution that works best for me(and more importantly why). I have some pretty secure passwords for my digital life, and have been proud of that for years. In 2012 I read about how Wired Magazine’s own Mat Hanon’s Twitter account was hacked, and the intruder was able to (all incredibly too easily) get into his GMail, and Apple systems to erase everything and this made me think deeper about security in general. I believe it was from that day forward I seriously started to think about how I could start using passwords that were even harder to crack, and more advanced security.
From that article I learned about Google’s two-way verification, set it up immediately and adviced everyone I spoke to that this was something they shouldn’t take lightly. I also setup Dropbox’s two way authentication and Apple’s two-step verification. Despite the articles written about the pitfalls I feel as though it’s a risk not having better password protection and security.

One Password

Then there are services on the web, tons of them, that do not offer any two way verification process — what do we do in those situations? I read about password books but that seemed a bit too physical for my digital lifestyle, I also read the theory, “The best password is the one you cannot remember” and thought that was clever, but wondered how would that work on a daily basis? Surely one would have to have a piece of software that was not only Mac and PC compatible, but if I can’t remember my passwords and need to get in remotely this has to be on my phone too. I have used KeePass in the past but it seemed like an incomplete solution, and I wasn’t fond of a third-party unofficial port. I polled the wisedom of crowds on Facebook and found a lot of useful software, but nobody seemed to have the right solution for Mac/Windows/iOS. I had heard of 1Password many times in the past, but that was expensive, and what is the value of something so expensive when companies like KeePass made something for free?
Of course I do what I always do when curious, I read. I read about the features on the iOS device including Go & Fill that will pre-populate login & password fields, 1Password Anywhere that allows you to add your entire 1Password onto a keychain and access it anywhere, organization for credit cards, software licenses, FTP, attaching files, all in one software that was well thought out. I read about browser integration with Google Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and I read about the iOS software with integrated browser, full syncing through Dropbox and thought, “Wow, I am starting to see the value”.

Olympic Swimmer

I went back to my original thought of security being an extremely important aspect I did not want to neglect, and I didn’t want to spend a ton of time on. It clicked, I would pay for someone who is this dedicated to security, a team that is constantly making their products better, and one with such good integration. I dived in like Nathan Adrian at the 2012 Summer Olympics and bought the iOS and Mac versions and diligently started putting in passwords, and most importantly changing those shabby ones into ones I could no longer remember. I was satisfied that I could always get it, and even started thinking into the future. On the Mac Power Users podcast, David Sparks and Katie Floyd took it further for me and stated that every 6 months they print out their 1Password and put it in a safe. This way in case they are in any kind of trouble, they can give that information to their loved ones and they will have the access they need to help.
For me 1Password does everything well enough that make it worth their asking price. Not having to deal with password management, the ease of use, and incredibly well thought out processes on how users use their passwords and sensitive information is well worth my money. Is 1Password right for everyone? Certainly not, and I would never claim that. However I will claim that for me, 1Password is the most well thought out software for securing passwords and sensitive information that I have come across and will continue to use this product daily.

  • Brian Austad

    I’ve been using Lastpass for about 6 months now and love it. Whenever you work online you need to keep a lot of passwords. Especially as an SEO, we have tons of multiple accounts for ourselves and our clients, so keeping track of them are a pain. Some sites you go to so rarely that you don’t even want to save the password, but you never know if you need it. Lastpass has really sped up my workflow and made my life easier. And it’s free.

    I can use it anywhere I have internet access which is great. It can auto fill or auto login and generate secure password if needed.

    1Password does seem to have more abilities than lastpass, but I have a hard time getting past the price. I haven’t tried lastpass on my phone (I don’t use the Internet that often, and the sites I do use the password is saved… which isn’t too secure :/ ), So 1Password would probably be beneficial there.

    I’ll agree that is security is something you are really concerned about, 1Password seems to be a good option.

    • frankstallone

      Ah yes I forgot about LastPass! Great to hear that works well for you. =) I am sort of surprised how a password manager can not only make your passwords more secure (if it has a secure password generator like 1Password) but also speed up workflow. I am on my phone religiously and the in app browser is brilliant because you have to log back into 1Password to access anything in that browser if you switch to another app or the phone goes to sleep.

      • Brian Austad

        The way it speeds up my workflow is that I don’t have to stop and look up passwords for all the different accounts I have to check. When I go to a site (Google Webmaster Tools for example), a toolbar will pop up and I can autofill from a list of accounts for that site. It saves me from searching the password file, copy & pasting. Do this 10+ times in a row and I can save a minute or 2.

        Many sites require you to log in now-a-days, so it’s hard to keep track all of the passwords, especially if you don’t frequently go there. I have those set to automatically log in. You lose out on security with these autofill options, but most of these sites aren’t important if they get hacked. Usually they only want your email address so they can send you junk. If hacker want that spam email, they can have it, lol.

        If the site is important to me I either log in manually as before (without lastpass saving my info) or I can have Lastpass prompt me for one secure universal(master) password that will trigger it to autofill my saved login/password for that site.