In today’s world we put more and more information online, and the need for security becomes ever increasing. With all the different websites that have you create user-ids for them, it can be hard to keep track of them all. Especially if you want to keep the passwords different for all of the different sites. That is the more secure method so that if one account gets hacked, the rest don’t either, otherwise they all come falling down like domino’s. So how can you keep good, unique secure passwords for all of your sites? With a password manager of course, and the one that I have I like the best is called LastPass.
LastPass is an online, cloud based password vault. It allows you to store all of those passwords online, secured in their website. When you sign up for LastPass, it will install a browser extension for whatever browser you are using, Internet Explorer, Firefox, or Chrome. As you go to websites it will prompt you to save their passwords, and store them in your LastPass vault. The next time you go to that website it will fill in the information for you. You can even use the vault to manually add passwords and information for just about anything, including Wifi hot spots, bank account information, and even just the lock to your bike. All of this information is stored online and filled in on websites for you, so you do not have to remember it, all you have to do is remember your LastPass password.
For a while I was using Chrome to save my passwords, and while that worked as my Chrome sync’d across multiple computers, I wasn’t comfortable with it saving the passwords locally to my computer. Even though it was encrypted the passwords were stored in the browser and open for attack. I had even used Firefox for some of this as well, and had the same safety concerns. What is nice with LastPass is the passwords are not really stored locally on your computer, but rather online in your LastPass Vault. This adds and extra layer of security, as the passwords are not locally stored and can help keep them out of the hands of hackers.
Another thing I really liked about passwords, is it made having different passwords for different accounts easy. This is also very recommended as it does increase the security of your accounts and keeps hackers from getting in with just one password. What is even nicer, is LastPass has a built in password generator, that you can set the amount of characters, how many lower case and upper case letters, numbers, and even special characters that you want. Using this I made most of my passwords for my accounts long, complicated strings of gibberish. In fact I do not know the passwords for most of my accounts anymore, as they are all very complex and unique. While this would normally be taxing to do, LastPass makes it easy as I can go in and check the passwords, or in most cases LastPass fills in the login information for me.
But passwords for me are not limited to just websites and web browsing, I also use a lot of them on my iPhone and iPad signing into mobile apps. There is a LastPass App for iOS and Droid that you can download and PIN protect for your mobile device, so you can copy your passwords from last pass and paste them into your mobile apps, making having complex and unique passwords on your mobile device bearable. Unfortunately while LastPass is free, to get the mobile app access you do have to pay for a Premium account, which costs $12 per year. Honestly the benefits of this far out weight the cost of paying for the Premium service.
Of course there is a fear of trusting a site and service with all this information, but LastPass has some nice security features of their own, such as 2 Step login, as well as preventing people outside the United States from being able to login to your LastPass account. If you decide to use LastPass you will want to make sure you set it up with a very secure, password that you can remember. After that LastPass will do the rest of the login work for you. More information on how they encrypt your LastPass account and beef up security can be found on their How We Do It page. So if you are tired of remembering passwords, or just want to beef up your security so all your passwords are not the same, I would highly recommend checking out LastPass.