“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.
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”.
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.