Do you have trouble keeping track of all of the passwords required by websites, banks, computer and devices? If so, you’re definitely not alone. At the MacSpa, we spend more time helping our customers remember and reset their passwords than any other single issue.

In over ten years of helping folks with their Apple products, I have seen all types of ‘password remembering’ systems, from Rolodexes to scraps of paper to sticky notes (virtual and physical) to Address Book entries and word processing documents. Mostly, these systems are highly insecure and offer little protection in case of fire or theft.

It is not uncommon for some folks to use a single password (or variation) for every website they visit. You may have heard about the recent string of website hacks during which customer personal information (sometimes including login and passwords) was stolen from major corporations. This is why most security experts recommend that every single website have a unique password not used anyplace else.

Fortunately, there are many secure software-based ‘password remembering’ solutions on the market. In fact, Apple has a solution already built-in to Mac OS X called Keychain and its sibling iCloud Keychain (which syncs passwords to iOS devices). Although Keychain does use the highest level of encryption security, the Mac OS X Keychain interface (called Keychain Access) is difficult to use (and unfortunately not very user friendly). Also, Keychain only requires the System Password to unlock, so it could be easy to access.

1pw-iconOur favorite ‘password remembering’ application is 1Password. The Mac version of 1Password is available on the Mac App Store, so it can be installed on every computer you own with one purchase. The iOS version of 1Password is free and automatically syncs information from Macs to iPhones and iPads (and vice-versa). Because 1Password uses the highest level of encryption security and requires a second step of verification, all information stored by the application is kept very safe. 1Password even generates unique, secure passwords for every website! Best of all, 1Password is extremely simple to use and continues to get better.

– by Steve Ohlfest

Every month, we will be offering workshops on Managing your Passwords using 1Password at The MacSpa. During these workshops, we will work with you to make sure that your passwords are organized and secure so you can throw that Rolodex away forever! See our workshop calendar to sign up.

The MacSpa