Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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By Stephen Hackett

Non-password reasons to use 1Password


1Password is an amazing app for creating and using unique, strong passwords for all of your online accounts. It syncs between the Mac and iOS devices, and takes advantage of things like iOS extensions and Touch ID to help better integrate into other apps and browsers like Safari.

1Password can store many types of records beyond simple user names and passwords. Out of the box, it has templates for all sorts of records:

  • Password
  • Bank Account
  • Database
  • Driver License
  • Email Account
  • Membership
  • Outdoor License
  • Passport
  • Reward Program
  • Server
  • Social Security Number
  • Software License
  • Wireless Router
  • Login
  • Secure Note
  • Credit Card
  • Identity

These templates have fields for applicable information. For example, setting up a new Bank Account record and 1Password will present fields for things like routing and account numbers. If I need my account details for some paperwork, opening 1Password is much faster then looking around my office for the checkbook I never use to copy the numbers off the bottom of the check.

Secure notes are a great feature in 1Password as well. Unlike the other templates, these lack any structure besides a text field.

I’ve used these notes for various things over the years: jotting down codes for alarm systems, storing medical history information, keeping insurance policy details and more.

Where things get really interesting is combining 1Password records with attached files. This is an incredibly flexible system; you can attach any type of file to any type of item.

My favorite use of this feature is re-creating what I carry around in my wallet.

I have a record with the details of my driver license. In the text fields, I entered my full name, address, license number, hair and eye colors and height. I then took photos of both the front and back of my physical card and attached them to the record.

Likewise, I have secure notes for our health and dental insurance plans, with the plan numbers and other details entered as text, with photos of the actual cards attached.

If I need my ID and have left my wallet at home, I’m not sure 1Password would suffice. However in everyday life, these things come up and sometimes my wallet isn’t nearby. (I once needed something from my passport, which I keep in a lock box, and the app saved me a trip across town.)

Because this information is digital, 1Password also allows me to copy and paste things into web forms if needed. It’s much faster to paste a long ID number than try to type it while reading small print off a card at the same time.

It may seem weird to talk about putting this sort of thing into a password manager, but 1Password is the perfect place.

1Password syncs its data across all of your devices reliably and quickly. Data can be shared with family members and coworkers.

Most importantly, I feel safe storing important information this way because of 1Password’s incredible security. My master password and TouchID are keeping anyone who may pick up my device from seeing my 1Password content. More importantly, the app’s AES-256 encryption makes sure nobody else is trying to look at my data.

1Password is well-built and well-supported, and its usefulness goes far beyond logging into websites.

[Stephen Hackett is the author of 512 Pixels and co-founder of Relay FM.]

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