The number of web sites and applications that require users to log in with a username or email address and password is staggering. For maximum security you should try to have a unique, hard-to-remember password for each login you use, so if one gets compromised, the rest remain safe.
Doing this by hand is almost impossible, which is where a password-management service like 1Password comes into play. This lets you store all your passwords securely in a vault that’s unlocked by a single master password (this is the one you need to remember), then auto-fills them into websites as and when required. It’ll even generate secure passwords for you.
The service originated on PC and Mac, extended to mobile and – until recently – was limited to a read-only app on Android. That meant you could access your previously stored passwords through the app, but not add to them or edit existing info.
From version 4, however, the app has been rebuilt from the ground up to be fully functional, so you can update your passwords from your Android device, then sync them back to your computer or Apple mobile or tablet if you wish. Or, of course, you can use the app completely standalone.
Unfortunately this comes at a cost – the free version of the app is the old, read-only version, but a one-off, in-app purchase unlocks the rest of the functionality.
At time of writing, the app will be free to use until August 1st, 2014, at which point the new pricing – not yet revealed – will come into play. How much this is will be critical in determining whether 1Password is a cost-effective alternative to the subscription model favoured by the likes of Lastpass.