I have been, or can be if you click on a link and make a purchase, compensated via a cash payment, gift, or something else of value for writing this post. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.
LastPass is a password manager / service that requires you to only remember one password for all of your sites. I’ve been using it for years, but am surprised at how many of my colleagues have never heard of it, and either reuse the same password for many sites, or who save their passwords in their browser.
Why trust a third party with your passwords?
Well LastPass doesn’t really have access to your passwords. See, your information is encrypted before being sent to them, so the only time the plain-text password is available is after the encrypted information is downloaded to your device, and you enter your master password. Oh, and don’t forget your master password – if you do, you’ll lose the ability to decrypt your data completely!
LastPass has FREE browser extensions for Chrome, Firefox and IE, as well as apps for iOS and Android (apps are for Premium users: a whopping $12 / year). Once you save a site in one browser, it’s available everywhere else.
This was very useful for me on Thanksgiving, when I had to login to my ShareASale account from my phone, but didn’t know my password. Why don’t I know my ShareASale password? Because I only know my LastPass password! My ShareASale password may be something like 8cQwhdCQUIHBSt7 (but it’s not). LastPass has a secure password generator built-in, which takes care of generating secure passwords for me.
Besides passwords, LastPass can also save address profiles (easily fill in shipping information when shopping online, with different profiles for home, work, etc) and credit cards (I feel like storing my credit card information would allow me to checkout too quickly, and I’d be more likely to buy stuff I don’t need, so I don’t use this feature).
The Security Challenge is great in telling you at which sites you should update your passwords because they’re weak or shared with other sites.
LastPass also has secure notes, where you can attach files, too (something I haven’t used yet).
When a service is hacked into, LastPass will email you and prompt you to change your password at that site, as well as any other sites where you may have used the same password.
The reason I’m writing about LastPass is because there have been a few times in the past week where I wanted to share a login with someone, without giving them the full username & password. LastPass let’s you do this!
One thing I didn’t know LastPass had available is Multifactor Authentication. What this means is for someone to gain access to your account, they need to know your username, password and a token that’s generated by another device (I use Google Authenticator). The token changes every 60 seconds, so even if somebody figured out your password, they still wouldn’t be able to access your account. If you already have LastPass, I encourage you to set this up!
In short, LastPass is a free to nearly-free ($1 / month) service that makes your life easier and more secure. Just make sure you give yourself a couple hours to download it, as I’m sure your own security check will reveal lots of opportunities for improvement.