Preparation / Context: You have hundreds of passwords for all the different sites you visit and you struggle to remember them all. Either that or you are using the same passwords for both your bank account and some website you once logged into because they offered you discount on an e-book ONLY if you signed up. It’s time to start taking your online passwords a little more seriously.
1Password and LastPass are both password managers that securely store all your passwords and easily allow you to retrieve them and login to your favourite websites as your browse. I’m a big fan of 1Password as I use it on both my Mac and iPhone and have heard great things about LastPass as an excellent, free, alternative if you do not own an Apple device. (1Password only works on Apple hardware unfortunately)
1Password is a password manager and automatic form filler for Mac OS X. It has a plugin that integrates into all browsers on a Mac (Firefox, Safari, Camino, Chrome amongst others). When you visit a page with a login form, click the plugin button in your browser window and it will automatically fill in and submit your login. Saving you time and the hassle of having to remember your passwords! It stores all your passwords in an offline application on your desktop. The iPhone application will sync with your desktop application allowing you to take all your passwords with you where ever you are! Both the iPhone app and desktop app secure your passwords with a master password, so keep the only password you have to remember, safe. The only draw back to the product is the $40 price tag, but you can’t put a price on your data security!
1Password can create strong, unique passwords for you, remember them, and restore them, all directly in your web browser.
Requirements: 1Password requires Mac OS X 10.5.8 (Leopard) or Mac OS X 10.6 (Snow Leopard) and supports most modern web browsers.
LastPass is a password manager and automatic form filler much the same as 1Password. It works across Windows, Mac and Linux and best of all it’s free! They do have a premium version which costs $1 a month. The premium version allows you access to their mobile applications that they offer for iPhone, Windows Mobile and Android based phones.
Their browser based plugins work much the same as 1Password, allowing you to click the button when on a page with a login form and it will automatically fill in the form and submit it. All your data is encrypted locally on your PC, so you don’t have to worry about any of it floating about the internet.
A password is only as secure as you make it, so with that in mind, stay tuned for an upcoming post about creating safe and secure passwords.