I’m sure most of you are facing the challenges of remembering and storing your passwords to the various apps, bank cards and such. Each password is very secure with upper and lower case letters, numbers and special characters. The passwords are secure, but where they’re stored may not be.

In my case, it definitely was not! So I began my search for apps in the Apple apps store that run on both the iPhone and iPad as I needed the app to run on both devices in synch.

My requirements were simple: it should be easy to use; information could be accessed offline, and it had to have the ability to store the data in the cloud for backup. All I need to store are the user ID/email and password. Hence, I don’t need overly complex software. I would also prefer the app to be free, but was willing to pay for it if it proves to be excellent!

I looked at four apps: Dashlane, LastPass, Keeper and 1Password (not to be confused with iPassword). All had some common characteristics, such as assessing the strength of the password and offering to create a password if you don’t want to create your own.

When I did a search on the web using the names of the four apps, LastPass showed up as the best known and most often mentioned password manager. So I tried that and the first thing I learned was don’t wait too long to test Last Pass after getting the app or, after two weeks, the trial time expires. I did get several messages that my trial time is about to expire and that, for $1/month, I could become a premium member. It does have a good user guide and it has a feature to share passwords with friends and family which intuitively makes me feel that, by sharing, my passwords are less secure.

The sepasswordcond observation is that not all of the apps have a user guide. Keeper is supposed to have one but when I tried to open it, I got an error message. But it does have a good orientation tour. Keeper also requires payment for backing up the password file after 30 days of usage. So Keeper and LastPass did not meet my requirement to use the app for free.

Dashlane looked so promising! It’s described as free and easy to use. It also has an auto login feature for all the accounts where I provided the user ID and password. But it’s only free for one device, I need it for two devices so I’d have to get Dashlane Premium, which costs $39.99. And just like LastPass, I’d have to get the premium version to back up the information.

I found 1Password easy to use and met all my requirements. It automatically identifies sites and credit cards with the logos, making the password lookup faster. I did have a problem figuring out how to delete a duplicate entry. The “help” function had the answer, although I must admit that the solution was simple and I should have figured it out on my own. It also allows me to sign-in with my touch ID on the iPhone, which makes looking up the information even quicker. It does work both when I am online as well as offline, and on my iPad and iPhone . AgileBits is a Canadian company located in Toronto.

Have you used similar apps? What has been your experience?

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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Catherine Aczel Boivie
Dr. Catherine Aczel Boivie is a widely respected executive with over 30 years of experience in the leadership of advancing the value of information technology as a business and education enabler. Prior executive roles includes: CEO Inventure Solutions and Senior Vice President of Information Technology/Facility Management for Vancity Credit Union; SVP of IT and Chief Information Officer at Pacific Blue Cross and Canadian Automobile Association of British Columbia. Catherine is also an experienced board member serving on several boards, including those of Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-television Services, Canada Foundation for Innovation and MedicAlert Canada. Dr. Boivie is the founding Chair and President of the Chief Information Officers (CIO) Association of Canada that has over 400 Chief Information Officers as members across Canada. She has been publicly recognized for her contributions, including being named as one of Canada's top 100 most powerful women by the Women's Executive Network in the "Trailblazers and Trendsetters" category and the recipient of the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for being a "catalyst for technology transformation".