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Frank Reviews: 1Password

Many people do not give much thought to the importance of their password(s), let alone the privacy of those passwords. Recently I’ve written several articles about password usage, how passwords get compromised, and creating strong passwords. In this article, I will be looking at password management, and I’ll do that by reviewing 1Password software.

First, let’s consider this. On average, a normal person will have between 60 and 100 passwords. Imagine how that number increases if you are a small business owner or online entrepreneur. Or what if you are a consultant, coach, or service provider? That number probably triples. I know for myself. I’m all three, providing the above services and being a web guy and graphic artist.

Here’s Part of the Problem

Many times, we reuse a password as many times as we can because it’s easier to remember. It has been said that 53% of people admit to reusing the same password. Did you know it’s been reported that in a study of passwords that have been compromised that the password “123456” was used over 23 million times. A few among the top 10 that people also used were, “qwerty”; “password”; and “111111.”

Oftentimes you run into sites and services where that have a different password requirements. You know the routine. It has to be between 8-14 characters, a number, uppercase, and lowercase, and sometimes a special character. I’ve seen some extremes where they only allow certain special characters, or you can’t have two of the same letter or number, or even the same letter case side-by-side. With all of the different requirements, you then end up with 20 different versions of that password.

How do you keep track of it all?

Managing Your Passwords

As you can imagine, having been online for over 25 years now, I’ve seen and used a wide range of methods and software for keeping track of mine and my clients’ passwords. I’d say I have utilized 1Password for better than 15 years and it is one software I regularly recommend.

1Password is an outstanding password manager that has been helping users to securely store and access their credentials, financial information, and other sensitive data since 2005. I feel that it is well designed, has a user- friendly interface and impressive security features.

Ease of Use:

The 1Password app and service offer a seamless user experience across multiple platforms, including Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS. I personally use it on my Windows PC, MacBook Pro, and my iPhone. You can even use it on the Apple watch, though I’ve not tried that feature yet. The browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Brave, and Edge make it incredibly easy to save and auto-fill passwords and other information.

The app’s intuitive design ensures that even first-time users can quickly understand and navigate the interface without any hassle. One feature I like is being able to add tags for each password so that I can easily locate customer logins.

Security:

1Password takes the security of its users very seriously. The following may be a little over the top in geekiness but in case you’re curious. It employs end-to-end encryption with AES-256, which is a robust industry- standard encryption method, to protect your data. The service also utilizes PBKDF2-HMAC-SHA256 for key derivation, which adds an extra layer of protection against brute force attacks. Additionally, 1Password employs a zero-knowledge policy, ensuring that your master password and encryption keys are known only to you and never stored on their servers. This means that even if 1Password’s servers are breached, your data remains safe.

Features:

1 password watchtower feature1Password offers a wide array of features that make it an exceptional password manager. Some highlights include:

  • Watchtower—this feature alerts you to any security breaches, vulnerable passwords, and potential threats, allowing you to take timely action to protect your accounts. As you can see below there are several I have to clean up. Either for myself or clients but this feature makes it easy to see what areas need to be addressed.
  • Travel Mode—this allows you to temporarily remove selected vaults from your devices when traveling to ensure sensitive data remains secure.
  • Family Sharing—the family plan supports up to 5 members, making it convenient for families to share passwords and secure information. This feature allows you to create private vaults to store select information that you want to share with family members making it quick and easy.
  • 2FA and Biometric Authentication—additional security measures, such as two-factor authentication (2FA) and biometric authentication, add further protection to your 1Password account.
  • Secure Notes, Documents, and Identities—apart from password storage, 1Password allows you to securely store other sensitive information such as notes, documents, and identity details.
  • Pricing—1Password offers a competitive pricing structure with plans designed for individuals, families, and businesses. While there is no free plan, the service does provide a 14-day free trial for new users to explore its features. The pricing is reasonable considering the robust security and features provided. Pricing starts at $2.99 for individuals, $4.99 for families, and $7.99 for business. All of these prices are based on the annual plan.
  • Customer Support—1Password’s customer support is impressive, with a comprehensive knowledge base, email support, and active social media channels. However, the lack of live chat and phone support may be a downside for some users. To be honest I can’t recall a need to ever contact support.

As I mentioned earlier, I’ve used 1Password for over 15 years. I’ve tried many others, but for me, 1Password is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a reliable and secure password manager. Its user-friendly interface, robust security features, and comprehensive set of tools make it a top contender in the market. While the lack of a free plan may deter some users, the service’s performance, features, and security make it well worth the investment. You can search for yourself and see that 1Password is the top of the list on many review sites. I feel 1Password is definitely worth checking out and the right step to keeping yourself secure online.

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