Why use 1Password?
I consider Agilebits' 1Password to be of my most important, and most recommended apps for Mac OSX and iOS. The premise behind 1password is that you can store all your passwords and important confidential data in a single encrypted location. 1Password also integrates with web browsers to automatically log you into websites using your stored passwords. This means that you can select different passwords for multiple sites without having to remember all of them.
1Password 4 adds additional encryption and security
Keeping all of your confidential data in a single location might seem like a recipe for disaster. So the real question is whether or not there is a reasonable level of security around the thing you are trying to protect – and I believe there is.
The team at 1password has updated and hardened their encryption algorithms, so easily decrypting your master file probably isn’t something you should be worried about.
According to Agilebits, 1Password 4 boasts a number of important security improvements, including a new keychain design with 256-bit AES encryption keys and data integrity checks that increase resistance to tampering. The design “forestalls many attacks that haven’t even been dreamt of yet,” AgileBits said.
Your security is only as strong as your master password.
With Agilebits handling the fortification of the wall protecting your data, your single greatest potential weakness in the defense of your data is your master password. If you’re unsure about how to select a strong password, please my tips on choosing a strong password.
New in 1Password 4: Password Auditing
1Password 4 has also introduced really handy password auditing feature which will analyze your saved passwords and let you know if any should be changed. Search criteria include weak passwords, duplicated passwords, and passwords older than a certain time period.
Dropbox and iCloud sync with your devices
Another incredibly important (and useful) feature is the ability to sync your 1password file between computers and devices using Dropbox and iCloud. Need your passport number or child's social security number when you are not at home? No problem, just pull it up with your 1password iPhone app. 1Password's built in sync will help you create, store, and fill-in passwords across Mac and Windows operating system, and mobile phones. Don’t worry, storing your data on the cloud isn’t something you need to worry about because the data is fully encrypted and you’ve selected a strong master password.
Bottom line, I can’t live without my 1password. It has become my central repository for all critical information including copies of driver’s licenses, passports, and social security information. If I could only recommend a single app to a computer user, this would probably be it.