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Even Salty the iPhone keeps his info secure with 1Password.
As more of our personal information makes its way onto the Internet, the importance of data security cannot be overstated. Unfortunately, maintaining secure, unique login information for dozens—if not hundreds—of websites is a huge chore. A single password is great for simplicity, but leaves a gaping security hole. If all your passwords are the same, a security glitch on your blog or at a site you do business with leaves everything—including your bank accounts, credit cards, and email—wide open. 1Password helps you avert this catastrophe by creating and storing complex, unique passwords for every site, wrapping them in an encrypted file that only you can access.
1Password works by leveraging the security built into the Mac Keychain to store your private data. When you fire up the app for the first time, you’re asked to choose a Master Password. Make this one strong, because this password is the key to all your secrets in 1Password—think “Is@ML1Aoz8,” as opposed to the name of your cat.
From then on, as you cruise the Web, 1Password will detect when you are signing into a new site and offer to save your credentials for you. Next time you visit that page, hitting 1Password’s configurable keystroke will prompt you for your Master password, fill in your details, and log you in. You can configure how often 1Password will ask for your Master Password as you browse.
1Password also functions as a form-filler and secure note storage. Using the Identities feature, you can enter addresses, telephone numbers, and other personal data and use that information to auto-fill Web forms. In our testing, the app was great at recognizing data formats in online forms, with only the occasional misstep. 1Password’s Wallet allowed us to enter credit card information once and auto-fill our payment details with a single click. For online shoppers who don’t like the idea of storing their payment information on a remote server, keeping your data locally inside 1Password makes a lot of sense. The Secure Notes feature stores arbitrary text in your encrypted keychain, perfect for tracking software licenses and other sensitive data.
1Password offers plug-ins for nearly every Mac browser and can sync your data across multiple Macs via MobileMe. The new 1Password iPhone app allows you to take all your log-ins with you and use them via the app’s integrated browser. It’s certainly not Mobile Safari, but the integrated browser will let you check your bank accounts and other secure sites while you’re on the go, in addition to retrieving log-in info for use with another desktop machine. Hopefully Apple will loosen its grip on Mobile Safari a bit, so that 1Password can enjoy the same tight browser integration that it does with browsers on your desktop.1Password helps you manage secure logins and other private data. Near-seamless browser integration and decent portable options make it our favorite password manager.