Take Nothing For Granted – Always Check Your Data

I use the 1Password  application from AgileBits extensively and this is a heads-up about a feature that didn’t operate quite as I had expected.

If you haven’t heard of 1Password you’re missing a treat. It’s a password manager and secure wallet that encrypts the information you store within it. One of its very handy features is that it’s available for Mac and Windows platforms and for iOS and Android devices and enables you to synchronise your 1Password data across your various devices.

The synchronising feature does however have certain limitations and it was my failure to recognise these limitations that left me without some required data recently.

As the Agilebits website says “You can now add file attachments to any item in 1Password! It’s great for attaching file-based licenses and receipts to Software Licenses, adding images to Secure Notes, or adding a scan of your Passport directly to your Wallet. Files are copied into 1Password’s database and encrypted along with all of your other information.”

I attach documents to items in 1Password all the time, it’s one of the features that makes 1Password so useful, but here’s how I made a wrong assumption about that particular feature…

The other day I had no access to my iMac, I only had my iPad and iPhone to hand. I needed some login password details and so I opened up 1Password on my iPad. I searched through the Secure Notes section and found the relevant note to which I had previously attached a PDF. I knew the information I required was on that attached file but there was no sign of the PDF in 1Password. I checked through other Secure Notes that I knew had files attached, but those too were missing their attachments. I was mystified, as I had always assumed that the attachments were fully synchronised to the iOS devices along with all my other data stored within 1Password.

But that was my mistake, I had assumed wrongly.

It turns out that attached files are synchronised between the Mac version of 1Password, but not across to the 1Password iOS applications.

I checked the AgileBits website and yes, there within the 1Password User Guide it states “Attachments are not synchronized to our 1Password for iOS apps at this time.”

So as the saying goes – always read the small print, or in this case ensure you read past the front webpage, to get all the details of the workings of any software on which you rely to provide your essential information.

If you are a 1Password user check that any data you require to access via the iOS versions of 1Password is not constrained to an attached file.

1Password’s customer support via Twitter have said that they hope to introduce attachment synchronisation in the future. In the meantime I will be working my way through a multitude of attached documents and ensuring that any information that may be required via the iOS version of 1Password is copied from the attachment to the main record within the app.

I learned my lesson, next time I won’t take anything for granted.

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