Unclutter your online passwords

1PasswordKeeping track of all the different passwords I have for accessing online content is a bit ridiculous. Just this morning, I had to initiate passwords for three different sites. Yeah, I have auto complete for some of them, but not for the more sensitive sites like my bank account.

If you find that you are a bit overwhelmed by all of the passwords you have and are using a Mac running OS X, you may want to check out 1Password.

1Password keeps track of all web passwords, automates sign-in, guards from identity theft.

If you have the time, I recommend watching the informative video about their service. 1Password delivers the following features that will surely help you in your day-to-day browsing:

  • Manage hundreds of passwords with one master key.
  • Automatic form filler outclasses the other AutoFill products.
  • Prevent phishing criminals from stealing your information.
  • OS X Keychain integration provides maximum security.
  • Integrated with Safari, OmniWeb, DEVONagent, Firefox, Camino, and Flock.
  • Define multiple identities to be used by the form filler.

and many more…

21 Comments for “Unclutter your online passwords”

  1. posted by Johnny Rocket on

    Here is a solution for various Unix users which is completely text based. I have been using this for a few months now, and it’s wonderful.

    It basically allows you to edit a text file which itself is protected by one password. When you edit it, it is decrypted on the fly, and when you save it, it is re-encrypted automatically.


  2. posted by Lars Wirzenius on

    I use Linux (a Unix-like operating system), and GNOME (a desktop environment), and prefer to use a GUI program rather than a command line script. My preference is the program Revelation; see http://oss.codepoet.no/revelation/ for more details.

  3. posted by Adam on

    For Windows RoboForm is the best password program I’ve used. It works a lot like 1Password.

  4. posted by Jonathan on

    I’ve found the perfect alternative to a software based password manager, it’s PassPack http://www.passpack.com. It’s a web based Password Manager that is totally secure and goes where ever you go. Also, totally platform independent, so it doesn’t matter if you use a Mac or a Windows PC.

    Check out http://www.theprivacyguy.com/2.....d-manager/ for a review if you’re interested. Or just head on over to PassPack and sign up!

    (And no, I don’t work for them, just a very happy user!)

  5. posted by Brad on

    I have been using 1password for over a year now and love it. The developers are working on my1password, a website that is able to sync with your password data on your computer and make it available on any internet-connected computer. For those of you paranoid at the thought of sending such sensitive information, the data is locally encrypted so that the information sent is unreadable by anyone without a encryption key that differs from the login password (similar to how passpack works).

  6. posted by Erik on

    Keepass (and the OS X equivalent KeepassX) is free and platform independedent– the same password file can be opened on the Windows/Linux/OS X versions.

  7. posted by Michelle on

    Since you are specifically talking about a program for OS X what is the advantage of this program over simply using Keychain? To my mind Keychain already comes with my operating system and holds my passwords.

    Then again I don’t mind if I have to type in my username and password because that helps my brain remember it and creates less reliance on a written version existing somewhere. But Keychain has worked great for me for the less often used passwords.

  8. posted by Thomas on

    I’ve been using Yojimbo to keep login/password for sites/services for the past few months, and it’s been helpful in keeping track of everything.

  9. posted by amber on

    i’ve always used the password saving option in FireFox. i set a master password (different from all others), so no one can access the list if i happen to leave my browser open. i also have to “log into” FireFox when i first open it after a restart.

  10. posted by Alex on

    I have used a program called YAPS on my Palm handheld for years. It uses 256 bit Blowfish encryption, and even though it hasn’t been updated since 2002, it still works great.

  11. posted by Hayden Tompkins on

    I am uneasy with the thought of having a password management program manage all of my passwords. What happens if the site or my computer gets corrupted?? Then I can’t get into anything.

    That’s why I like the password algorithm. All you have to do is remember one pattern and that’s it!

    For example, maybe your algorithm is

    [pet][favorite number][second letter of the website]

    So: rex10a becomes rex10u or rex10w.

    Anyway, I’m not cracking on your program, I just like the thought that I don’t have to depend on yet another piece of software to manage my life.

  12. posted by Lars Wirzenius on


    a password algorithm that you can remember is pretty unsafe: any password you can remember can be broken with a reasonable investment in hardware. That’s why I prefer to use a program to generate really hard passwords, and use a program to keep track of them, so that I can copy and paste them when I need to.

    I’m not afraid of losing the passwords. Then again, I do backups professionally, so I guess I should trust my backups.

  13. posted by Gayle on

    Another option is to use OpenID on sites that support it.

  14. posted by Joe on

    IMHO, the guys over at http://www.clipperz.com have totally figured this out. Their code is completely open so anyone can see how the security works and attemp to find exploits. They have a local backup that uses the same encryption process so those “doomsday-ists” can keep a backup.

    The guys who run it are also very responsive and open on the forums.

    If you want to manage passwords securely, this is the way to go!!

  15. posted by Michael on

    The Password Composer plugin for Firefox is handy because it generates passwords using a standard one way hash on the password you give it and the domain name of the web page, so it doesn’t store your passwords anywhere yet generates unique passwords for each site. Only drawbacks are:

    1. Last I looked it hadn’t been updated in a very long time. It’s still compatible with the latest FF, but you have to manually open the .xpi file (it’s a zip file) and edit the plugin information to raise the FF version cap.

    2. Since the hashes only generate 8 lowercase letters and numbers, it doesn’t (alone) work for sites that require punctuation, capital letters, or have a longer minimum password length than 8 characters. But you can always use a common method to append to the generated password to make it compatible.

    3. Your password breaks if the site moves its login form (from e.g. “www.domain.tld” to “secure.domain.tld”), but when that happens you just use the site’s password recovery method. If the login form is on “www.domain.tld” but the form is posted to “secure.domain.tld”, then you tell Password Composer to use “domain.tld” for the hash rather than the full host name.

  16. posted by Chris on

    I utilize the password keeper on my BlackBerry to manage all of my passwords. It auto-generates hard passwords and stores them so I can access them anywhere I have an internet connection. I also use biometrics on my desktop PC.

  17. posted by PJK on

    @ Hayden – I also use a type of algorithm, but I love the idea of the 2nd letter of the website even better to differentiate my different passwords. I was just using numbers after my basic algorithm.

    @ Lars (& Hayden) – To make the algorithm more secure, rather than using real words, pets, etc. you could make up a sentence that you’ll be able to remember, but which has nothing to do with your life and can’t be easily figured out. Then use the first (or 2nd, or last, etc.) letter from each word.

    For instance, let’s say your sentence is “George Washington was the first president of the United States in 1789.”

    Then your basic password might be GWwtfpotUSi1789. If you want to make it different for different websites, you could just add another letter at the end that corresponds to that website, like Hayden said.

  18. posted by Jen on

    I have a ThinkPad, and the password program that comes with it is called the ThinkVantage Password Manager (so original, no?). Anyway, it appears to do all the same things that 1Password does, in case anyone’s looking for an analog on his PC.

  19. posted by Timothy J. Carroll on

    Good tips!

    Gotta get organized with so much information. Either that or risk overload.

    We gave you your props: http://www.memeticians.com

    All the best!


  20. posted by Chris Owens on

    Back in my PalmOS days I used SplashID to keep a database of my passwords synced between my computers and my PDA/Phone. I went to Windows Mobile and lost syncing (to my Mac) but still had an encrypted database on my phone. With the iPhone I lost portability, and SplashID data was only on my desktop. Google Browser Sync helped sync Firefox’s saved passwords between machines, but I’m on lab computers frequently.

    1Password has been working out extremely well for me. I don’t just need to save web form passwords, but also Wireless keys, FTP logins, and key/door code combinations. 1Password rises above the built in “Remember this password” function because it lets you add other categories of information into the “wallet”. Most importantly for me, 1Password will sync all of your information to an encrypted bookmarklet on the iPhone, so now I have all of my data on the go again! I can finally start generating random strong passwords again and not have to worry about trying to remember them.

    I love how this site not only focuses on physical clutter, but also information clutter in our digital lives. It’s great to see all of the other solutions mentioned in the comments. There are many people using one password everywhere because they aren’t aware of these programs/services.

  21. posted by CJ @ SaveChange on

    I’m on Mac OSX and I use a freeware gem called Passerby (http://mac.softpedia.com/progD.....17858.html)

    It’s well-encrypted and if you put the file in your shared folder like my husband and I do, we can access the passwords easily. One more option and it’s free to boot.

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