Lastpass remembers your passwords for you and gives you the best of both worlds – security and convenience.

Keep Your Password Safe: Security Or Convenience?

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Remember when you first signed up to Amazon or Facebook?

As for many other website, you had to choose a password.
Do you remember it?

Even if you do, what about all the other sites you signed up to since then?

Well, if you can’t remember every password in your “list”, then it’s time to stop trying.

Choosing passwords presents us with a problem:
1. It needs to be easy to remember (it’s convenient)
2. It needs to be strong enough to resist the hackers (it’s secure)
[And we all know how important it is to have strong passwords …don’t we?]
Maybe you have a special scheme for creating passwords that are both safe and memorable.
Maybe you have a unique password for every single website you ever signed up to.
If so, then I salute you!
If not, then read on to find out how the password manager Lastpass can worry about it all for you – and why I think you should use it.

Why You Should Stop Remembering Passwords

The problem is that us humans tend to go with the easiest route.
For convenience, we pick the easiest password we can think of (and therefore can remember).

Security then goes out the window, because we reuse that password everywhere, perhaps with minor tweaks.
Go on, admit it.
You’ve got that one (or two) word password with a different number on the end, just like the rest of us, haven’t you?
As a result, a hacker only needs to get hold of one of your passwords to be able to crack open every account you own.
That’s why I use Lastpass, a free service, with a very reasonable subscription option ($12 per year).


Why I Use Lastpass To Remember My Passwords

Lastpass holds all my passwords in its ‘memory’.

It enters those passwords automatically into web pages when I login to my favourite websites, so don’t have to type anything.
This allows me to stay secure while still allowing for convenience – without reusing simple passwords all the time.
To make things safer, when I create an new account with a website, I get Lastpass to generate a random password for me.
For a typical internet session, I enter a user name and (strong) password to login to my Lastpass account when my browser starts up.
From then on, Lastpass does all the hard work.
It even detects when I change a password for an existing site and offers to save it for me in its database.

Better still, it works across all my browsers and all my devices – PCs, Mac, iPad and phone (the mobile apps are available with the subscription service).

How Lastpass Gets Even More Secure

Lastpass is full of tools to help make you secure and then keep you secure.
You’ll start with a strong password for your Lastpass account – the website will guide you through setting it up and tell you just how strong it is.
If that’s still not strong enough for you, or you know you are going to use a public network, you can create a set of One-Time Passwords (OTP for short).
An OTP is a long string of letters and numbers that you can use to login to Lastpass in place of your normal password, but as the name suggests, once only.
This means that even if a nefarious hacker is monitoring your key presses at the time, they couldn’t re-use your password because, well, it’s already used up.

What if Lastpass is hacked and all the user data is stolen?
The company goes to great lengths to ensure this doesn’t happen and one of the things I really like about them, is their transparency with their users.

However, even if they were hacked, then believe it or not, it’s not as big a problem as you might think.

Everything is encrypted before it is sent to the Lastpass server, so if someone was to download your data, it would be a meaningless stream of junk, without your digital “keys”.

A hacker might be able to decrypt it eventually, but by the time they did that, you would have changed your passwords anyway.

And Even More Secure – Lastpass Has The ‘X’ Factor

All users (including those with free accounts) have access to various 2-factor options.

This includes everything from a printable unique “grid”, with special codes to type in, to integration with Google Authenticator, which you may already use on your smartphone.

If you are not familiar with this concept, what it does is add another item – such as a random number or your mobile phone – which is required in addition to your normal password.
This means that if someone steals your password, then they still can’t login, without the second factor.
Lastpass also has a tool which will tell you how good all your passwords are, and let you know if any of them are duplicated with other websites.

Conclusion

For me, Lastpass strikes the best balance between security and convenience.
It enables me to have strong passwords for every website, by remembering them for me, so I don’t have to.
I have posted here and here, about how it has saved my bacon on several occasions.
Now it’s your turn.
How do you stay secure on the net?

Bonus: if you sign up for a premium subscription via this link, then you and I will both receive 1 month premium free (disclosure: this is a referral link).

Disclaimer: I am not employed by Lastpass, nor was I paid to write this article.
I am a premium user of their product for the past 3 years.
I bought a subscription because I think it is ace!

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