I have more than 700 different login credentials that I use to log into sites like Google, Twitter, Slack, Amazon and tons of others. Almost four years ago, I used the same password for everything. If you had wanted to, it wouldn’t have been too hard to get access to every major known service I was using, if you had had access to my old master password.
Using a password manager like 1Password can help you manage unique passwords for every site and app you’ve ever used. You can use the desktop app, Chrome extension and mobile app to help you get access to all of these passwords.
I don’t actively use 700 logins on a daily basis, but that is the number of accounts that I have on the internet. That’s 700 possible chances for a hacker to get access to a username and password of mine. If my password is duplicated on another site, it’s way too easy to gain access to my personal information. Yikes!
Photo by Andras Vas on Unsplash
My favorite features about 1Password
- You can generate a new password using the Chrome extension.
- You can sync your saved logins with your phone.
- You can store other things, like credit card numbers and passport numbers.
- You can create vaults for saving work logins and personal logins.
- You can add notes and other details about a specific login entry.
Let’s dive a little bit into how to use some of my favorite features.
How to generate a unique password with the 1Password Chrome extension
Any time you create a new account on a website, you can easily generate a safe and secure password with 1Password. To do this, grab the Chrome extension. Once you have the 1Password extension installed, you’re halfway there! Click on the icon in the location bar, navigate to “Password Generator” and you’re all set. Now you have a configurable password that you’re ready to use.
Google Chrome has this password generator built into most signup forms, so it becomes moot if you’re using this to create a new account somewhere. This method gives you more control using a specific combination of length, digits and symbols. I’ve found that some forms don’t have this option with Chrome, so this password generator is helpful.
How to sync your saved logins with your phone
Depending on your software version and type of 1Password plan, you can sync your password vaults to your phone. For me, I have 1Password 6 and my syncing options are set up through Dropbox.
The newer version of 1Password allows you to store all of the passwords in the cloud. I prefer this method, but I haven’t switched my software over to that cloud-based approach yet.
This syncing has been helpful in inputting my secure password into mobile apps from services that I commonly use. My banking app uses a login stored in 1Password and it’s easy to retrieve that password when I want to sign in.
The 1Password mobile app comes with a keyboard add-on that you can set up with your iPhone or Android phone. I have a Google Pixel 2, and it’s easy to toggle back and forth between the Gboard and the 1Password keyboard to get specific logins.
Photo by Mia Baker on Unsplash
How to store credit card numbers, passport numbers and more
Within the 1Password desktop app, there’s a tab for credit cards. You’ll find all of your saved credit card numbers and data in that location. To add data for a new credit card, simply go to File > New Item > Credit Card.
Storing your credit cards is especially helpful if you have credit cards that you don’t carry with you all the time. It’s also helpful if a credit card gets lost or stolen. Having the number, expiration date and CVV code is helpful to have when you call your bank to sort things out.
Within the credit card entry, you can also put in some notes about your credit card. I figure that if you have an annual fee, putting in when that fee gets charged to your card is a good use for that field. If the credit card has a referral program, keeping that link in the notes field is another good idea.
How to create different vaults to save work logins and personal logins
I’ve worked at several different jobs that require many different types of logins. When I worked full-time for my former company, I needed to save my username and passwords for all of the services and tools that we used. Now, as a freelancer, I receive dozens of client sites that need to go somewhere.
In the case of when I left my full-time position, I no longer had a need for all of those logins.
Being able to remove the vault and clear out that information is ultimately easier than manually deleting countless logins. I don’t get too crazy with creating vaults because the search within 1Password takes care of any edge cases.
How to add notes and other details about a specific login entry
I mentioned a few use cases for adding notes to your credit card data entries. You can use that same thought process and you can add notes to all of your logins. Most of the time, I rely on the 1Password Chrome extension to add the login for me. If there’s something specific that I want to remember about a site, I’ll edit the entry and use this additional field.
What’s the difference between 1Password and LastPass?
Both services store your login information. However, 1Password is more comprehensive and offers a desktop app, web app, Chrome extension and mobile app. LastPass is a Chrome extension and a mobile app.
Aside from how you can access your information, 1Password has data templates for adding specific types of information. You can store things like your passport, credit cards, driver’s license, membership information and more.
LastPass stores passwords, and the service does it very well. LastPass makes it easy to share login credentials between project collaborators and other coworkers.
Both programs offer several more features. Check them both out and see which one is better for you!
Why any password manager is a good idea
I mentioned above several times that accounts are only as secure as their passwords. Passwords are easy to guess, predict and steal. The more unique your password is, the less of a chance that someone can easily gain access to your accounts.
Aside from the security aspect, having a password manager is a fast way to log into accounts that you haven’t touched in years. Save yourself some time from hitting that “Forgot Password” link and get started with 1Password!
First published on January 30, 2019