#Adulting: Why 1Password is My Fav New Internet Security Tool
A convenient, easy-to-use password manager
So I recently got a shiny new MacBook Pro (#squee). That was the exciting part. The not-so-exciting part (okay, still kinda exciting for a type A like myself) was moving my entire life over from my old, giant, heavy, why-cant-you-just-go-faster PC to my new Mac. Along the way, I realized that I had like…a decade of old passwords saved in Google Chrome.
I’ve always been one of those “I don’t have anything to hide so who cares if big brother is watching” kind of people. But big brother is one thing, and nefarious hackers are another. Also, I was one of the accounts compromised in Facebook’s most recent hack. Seemed like as good a time as any to do something about it.
At my full-time job, we use a password manager called 1Password. It’s always been easy to use, but I never really explored everything it had to offer…until now. And people, I’m pretty sure it’s going to change my life.
It’s an all-in-one password (and other stuff) management program. You can install it on your computer, your phone, and your browser. Then, once you tell those things to use 1Password instead of saving your password in Chrome, iCloud Keychain, etc., 1Password becomes your password manager everywhere you go. Literally everywhere, seamlessly.
How does it work?
It’s called 1Password because you only have to remember—you guessed it—one password. That’s called your “Master Password.” (They’re really creative, apparently.) You use your Master Password (which is super ultra encrypted and stuff) to log in and access the credentials for all your other sites. It will jump in and auto-fill your login info for you—or, if you just want to look up what one of your passwords is, you can go into the 1Password app and view it. And you can be logged in to multiple accounts at once, so I can use my work account for work stuff and my personal account for personal stuff—on both computers.
1Password will also suggest super-secure passwords for you. Because their app goes literally everywhere you do, you can accept those crazy passwords—you know the ones, filled with random strings of numbers, letters, and special characters—and not worry about the fact that you’ll never remember them (that’s kind of the point).
You can also save things like notes to yourself (your mom’s Netflix info, perhaps? …who said that), credit cards (no more stomping your feet as you get up to find the CSV, defeating the point of saving your card info in Chrome in the first place), bank accounts (routing numbers at the ready), and more. It’s really a one-stop shop.
You can export all your old passwords from Google Chrome (or whatever you’re using today) and import them into 1Password for an easy transition.
Oh, and they also monitor all the sites you use and let you know if one of them has a security breach. Also, you can make a “travel-safe” vault so that your most sensitive passwords are removed from all your devices while you travel, but your essentials stay put.
Does it cost money?
Yes, but not much, TBH. A single-person account is $2.99 billed annually or $3.99 billed monthly. They also offer family accounts ($4.99 a month billed annually) for families up to five people. Each family member can have their own “vault” of personal passwords, plus you can have a shared vault that everyone can use.
There’s also a 30-day free trial. (BTW, I get nothing for giving you this link…I literally just want you to have it. So here it is!)
So this past weekend, I exported my passwords from Chrome and imported them into 1Password (and I deleted them from Chrome—sorry, hackers). Then, because I’m a crazy person who loves to organize things, I went through all of my logins from the beginning of time to combine the duplicates, get rid of the ones that aren’t relevant to my life anymore, and rename them to something super intuitive (like from “mobile.facebook.com” to “Facebook”).
I feel like I just purged a closet filled with junk. I feel like I win the #adulting award this week. I feel calm and secure and ready to take on the world (with my new Mac in my backpack, in true NYC commuter style).