Like it or not, everyone in your family spends a lot more time online these days — whether it’s remote learning for the kids, Zoom meetings with co-workers or Grandma and Grandpa learning (finally!) how to FaceTime.
Obviously, it’s great that we live in an age where even terrible circumstances can’t keep families and friendships apart, no matter the distance. But it also means we’ve opened ourselves up to new privacy and security threats every time we log on.
1Password is a service that promises to solve one of the biggest dilemmas — and an ever-growing one — facing the average online user: how to keep track of a never-ending trove of strong and unique passwords you’re supposed to memorize to complete even the most minor transaction. Here’s why we found 1Password to be a top choice for password management systems.
Combining ease of use and clean design with a rock-solid security system, 1Password is the highest-rated password manager on Trustpilot and won a Webby Award in 2019. It’s widely available, with apps and extensions for not only the usual suspects — Windows, Mac, iOS, iPad OS, Android, Safari and Chrome — but also systems that tend to be underserved, including Opera, Firefox, Linux and Edge. (It also supports facial recognition, touch ID and similar features.)
You don’t have to be online to access your data, and you won’t be nagged to pay for upgrades. Even better, it’s one of the rare password managers that doesn’t limit how many devices or passwords you can store.
1Password helps you generate strong passwords for new sites and scours the dark web to warn you if any of your passwords have been leaked or stolen. When you’re traveling to countries with questionable privacy standards, Travel Mode lets you delete some of your data vaults, then lets you restore them once you’ve crossed back into safer territory.
1Password isn’t just about your passwords; it also lets you safely access credit card accounts, bank accounts, documents and images, and even frequent flyer numbers. Everything you store in 1Password is end-to-end encrypted using 256-bit AES encryption, and you’re the only person in the world who holds the keys to decrypt your data. You can even layer your security by adding multi-factors, including U2F hardware security keys.
Acknowledging the realities of a world where everyone in the family is connected, 1Password has a family feature that lets you take advantage of that. You can designate someone to recover your master password for you, should you forget it (it’s OK — it happens). A family plan gives up to five people unlimited devices, apps and extensions for $4.99 a month (as opposed to $2.99 for individual plans), and you can share some data vaults with other family members while keeping personal logins private.
And in a twist that’s proven invaluable in 2020, family members don’t have to live in the same house, meaning you can include distant grandparents and kids on your same family plan.
But we’ve saved arguably the best thing about 1Password for last. Shockingly, many password managers and privacy apps actually make money by using customer data to target free users for in-app ads. 1Password doesn’t do that: The data you store on 1Password is encrypted so that even the company can’t access it.
1Password doesn’t know what you’re putting into its vaults, and it has no idea what sites you’re visiting. You’re the only person in the world who knows your login details for 1Password.
Peace of mind at pennies a day is something that’s worth looking out for, and 1Password’s transparently ethical model, airtight and redundant security features and user-friendly design make this our favorite password manager on the market.