Up until now, human nature has told us that keeping two or three memorable passwords is the best way to access your online accounts.
Storing those passwords through memory, on paper scraps, or via a ‘super secure’, aptly named “misc” folder on your desktop are genuine methods of password management. Whilst this may well be the easiest way of remembering logins, times are now changing.
The rapidly approaching GDPR regulations in May are slowly but surely altering the values of everyone involved in personal information management. People are quickly realising that those two or three easy-to-remember passwords are vulnerable, leaving you wide open to attacks on your online accounts.
So, what’s the answer?
The previously mentioned storage methods just don’t cut it, nor does using a different password for each of your 50 online accounts. However, there is a solution to this security nightmare. Password managers.
These handy pieces of software not only help keep you secure but they also make life easier.
Essentially, password managers, such as 1Password, can store, generate and automatically fill information for users across online accounts – streamlining the whole process.
How exactly do they work?
Password managers are simple tools to use, but slightly more technical to explain. So, we’ve got our Technical Director and his team to explain the process…
Password managers, like 1Password, use a “Master Password” to secure your data. Although it’s called a password it’s not technically a password in the traditional sense, it is instead used as a key to encrypt your data. This prevents third parties being able to openly access your data.
In the case of 1Password, not even they can see your data. Obviously, this is great for security reasons but it does come at a slight cost, if you lose your master password you lose your data. Now, this might seem extreme but it’s necessary to keep your data secure and it’s a risk that we personally think is worth it.
For a password manager to be effective you’ll need to ensure your password is secure but at the same time memorable. A difficult task for anyone (unless you have an eidetic memory!).
This article from Agile Bits, the creators of 1Password, explains the problem and solution in great detail and is definitely worth a read (it’s an old article but still more than valid today). To sum it up, it’s important to not use personally identifiable information and instead make it random. This means you’ll need the help of some dice or a random number generator, as humans simply can’t be truly random.
Password managers are also suited to a business environment with 1Password for Teams. This allows central management of password “Vaults” with the ability to delegate access to certain employees. This solves the big problem for businesses of how to securely share passwords. Previously this would result in some sketchy practices of emailing passwords or writing them down.
The roll out of the 1Password system has improved the efficiency of team and cross-department collaboration with an added benefit of security.
The platform enables instant retrieval of passphrases as well as supporting 2-factor authentication code generation. This can be an issue for other teams not using a system such as 1Password, as a shared device would need to be used instead.
So, how about using 1Password personally?
Since using 1password my life has become so much easier. I have so many passwords that often signing into sites took me a while due to numerous log-in attempts.
I can now click an extension button in my browser and instantly sign in, and the best part is I don’t even know the password for any of my accounts anymore, so my online accounts are more secure! After using 1password at work I’ve created a personal account which I can store in the same app and still manage each vault with ease.
I’ve been using a password manager for about a year personally and it has become an important tool for my day-to-day life, as trying to remember the passwords for the many different websites and services I use was becoming impossible.
1Password allows me to use more secure passwords which I could not remember myself, all while securely synchronising them across the various personal computers and mobile devices. I can now log into any of my websites & services at any time, from anywhere.
With password managers slowly but surely becoming a necessity for many, are you likely to begin protecting your online accounts with one?