1Password to rule them all

Most people solve the problem of keeping track of passwords and private
information the easy way – they use one password for everything and if
they’re lucky it’s different from their banking PIN number. I’m guilty
of being one of those sorts of people. I’ve been using the same
password I was given by my first ISP (Webtime) way back in the
nineties. Sure I’ve made some slight modifications but it’s basically
the same password I’ve had for nearly twenty years now. And over those
years I’ve gotten sloppy with it. I’ve happily logged in to Internet
Banking from dodgy cafes in Thailand shared it with family and friends
who needed access to my accounts etc.

While
I haven’t had any security breaches yet I figure it’s just a matter of
time before someone cracks my code. So when a friend told me he’d
started using a new program called 1Password I sat up and took notice.

In
a nutshell 1Password lets you manage multiple passwords with one
master password. 1Password comes with a strong password generator that
lets you create strong random passwords which you can use when
submitting password information to a website and keeps all your
passwords in the Mac OS X Keychain. (The keychain is automatically backed to multiple older versions up by 1Password to guard against any corruption and if you can then back it up with .Mac sync Time Capsule or any other file-based backup method to double safeguard against losing your passwords.)

On
installation 1Password installs a toolbar in your web browser (and has
extensive support for Firefox Safari Omniweb Camino and Flock) that
lets you easily log in to all websites that you have entered into your
1Password setup. There’s also a handy CMD+ keyboard shortcut that auto-fills password forms for you (after you’ve entered your 1Password master password once per session.)

You can also use
1Password to save other important information like credit card numbers
and addresses. This functionality is also accessible through the web
browser which means when you get to a web page that requires your
credit card information and shipping details you can automatically fill
in this information via the 1Password toolbar.

The makers of 1Password are also beginning to test a web based service called my.1password.com
- a web replica of the 1Password application. In my early testing
however this functionality was a bit flaky – for instance logging on to
the service on my iPhone worked but I couldn’t actually access any of
my information.

Like so many other Mac
applications 1Password is a great implementation of a great idea. From
the UI to the integration with the Mac OS Keychain and full browser
support 1Password is definately worth a shot and I suspect lots will
sign up to the $US35 asking price after trying it out in free trial mode for a while.