Free 1Password video because your heart bleeds

I use 1Password a minimum of ten times a day on my Mac and a lot, an uncounted lot but still a lot, on my iPad and especially my iPhone. It is for storing passwords, yes, but because of the way it does that, you tap on a site name and takes you there, pops in your username and password, and you're done.

So rather than going to a site and then looking up what my password is, I am already in that site and logged on. It's that speed plus the sheer handiness of having my most important secure sites to hand that means I keep using 1Password and I keep recommending it.

But even though I've had it for years, I am still learning about it and today The Mac Observer spotted that Screencasts Online is giving away a free video tutorial. It's not a coincidence that they're doing this just as we all face schlepping through changing our passwords because of the Heartbleed security problem. But they're doing it like a mensch: yes, of course Screencasts Online would like us to sign up and pay to watch lots of videos but they're giving away this one for free. It's free and it's apparently complete so it's useful and it's good of them to do it.

I say 'apparently' only because I've come straight to you with the news. Guess where I'm going next?

Yep, straight to the free 1Password video on Screencasts Online right here.

Countdown of 2013’s worst passwords

There's a new kid on the block with this year's countdown of the worst passwords you could possibly have but do. It's a first-time top ten appearance for “adobe123”.

Also breaking into the top ten with a rise of two places is “iloveyou” where it's amazing five-place jump for our number 8 password, “1234567”.

The unforgettable “111111” is up two to 7 while it's another new entry at 6 with “123456789”.

Then it's the chart's first fall with “abc123” down one to 5.

Replacing that at 4 is the classic “qwerty” which is up one spot.

Into the top three now and still steady at number 3 is “12345678”. Number 2 is a shock drop of one place for the all-time legend that is “password”.

That top ten again:

  1. adobe123
  2. iloveyou
  3. 1234567
  4. 111111
  5. 123456789
  6. abc123
  7. qwerty
  8. 12345678
  9. password

Which means that rising one place since last year, the worst password of 2013 is… “123456”.

There are a few qualifications to make about this chart countdown but the thing to take away is that all ten are equally stupid. And if you use any of them, or any like them, you must change them now if only because it is embarrassing that your best idea is the exact same one that millions of other people had too.

Fixing your passwords is more important than hearing me snark at the data so go, be gone, get yourself over to 1Password. I couldn't endorse that software any more if they paid me.

But now. Snarking.

The definition of worst is debatable, I think. This countdown comes from SplashData, and firm that of course works in password management, and it's really a ranking of the most commonly used passwords. That's not quite the same thing as the worst: “password” is surely still the one you would try first if you were going to break into something. Or “pencil” if you're hacking WOPR, obviously.

Morgan Slain, SplashData CEO:

“[An] interesting aspect of this year's list is that more short numerical passwords showed up even though websites are starting to enforce stronger password policies.”

The definition of most commonly used is also debatable: SplashData says that this year's list is heavily influenced by the troubles Adobe had when a security breach meant quite a few of its users passwords became known.

So many, in fact, that the list has to have been distorted by that group – and you can see it the top twenty which includes such gems as “photoshop” and “adobe123”.

But, seriously, 1Password. On your way.

Updated 1Password now available

A particularly good update for the password-management software is now out on both the makers’ own website and the Mac App Store. This is specifically an update to the Mac version: doubtlessly the Windows one will come soon and the iOS ones have already been updated with these features or the equivalent.

The best of these features being how 1Password handles the times you change your password on a site. I’ve often hit the issue where I’m not sure if I’ve updated the 1Password entry or I’ve created a whole new one. So for my ISP account, for example, I currently have five entries: same username, same website, different password. Every time it’s been that I’ve had the most enormous rush on and couldn’t stop to figure this out, so I’ve ended up saying yes to saving the new password as a new site and given it names like “ISP login FROM JULY 2013”.

Now when you are on a site and you change the password, 1Password says oi, do you want to make a new one or is this an update? One tap, done. 

There are also lots of little nice twiddles in the mini 1Password that lives in your Mac menu bar. I use that more than anything: wherever I am, two key presses and mini 1Password either whacks the username and password in for me on a site or it pops up with a choice of sites or options, whichever I want.

This is release 4.1 of 1Password and it’s free to existing users. We’re special. If you’re not an existing user and you don’t already have anything like 1Password, you need 1Password because there is nothing like it. 

Cost: free to existing users, £34.99 or $49.99 (but check for volume discounts, family packs and special bundles)

More details and download links: