The Easy Way To Control Your Online Passwords
Raise of hands, here. Who hates juggling all the online logins we're faced with these days? I mean REALLY hate. The teeth-gnashing angst of not being able to recall which "easy to remember" password you used for Amazon.com. Or do you keep all that sensitive data in a plain text document on one PC or, worse yet, on Dropbox so you can access it from wherever? If you know there HAS TO be a better way to manage your myriad of online profiles (I currently have about 200), I have a solution for you!
Until a few years ago I was taking the same attempts at managing my passwords as described above. But I knew it was wrong. I knew my methods were inefficient and unsecure. So I did some research and found LastPass.
It is still far and away the best password manager I've found. Here's why:
- It's FREE!! Let's face it, if the best solution to a problem is free, it's a no brainer. LastPass fits the bill.
- It's Easier than remembering all your different logins or cutting & pasting from a plain text document.
- It's Safer because it makes it easy to create and recall complex passwords that would be impossible for phishers and scamers to guess, unlike the passwords most of us choose.
- It's Secure. LastPass encrypts your data on your local computer (or mobile device) before syncing to the web for your use on other devices (other computers in the house, your phone, iPad, etc.)
- It's Everywhere because it syncs your login data so you can access it from any device.
- It's Multi-Platform. Mac or PC, any browser, any mobile device...LastPass works on all of 'em!
Here's how it works. You start by creating a LastPass account. This will be the last login you'll ever have to remember because it will remember all the rest! For security, LastPass does not store this "master password" and therefore can't help you retrieve it if lost (this hasn't created a problem for me or my wife). So just make sure it's fairly complicated but easy to remember. The LastPass icon added to your browser during the install process turns from grey to red to indicate you're logged in. From then on LastPass interacts in the following ways w/ the sites you visit:
- If You Need to Create a Login: LastPass will ask if you want it to generate a unique, secure password. You can specify password length and any capital letters, numbers or special characters (@^*$) required.
- The 1st time LastPass Sees You Login to a Site: It will ask if you want to remember that password & username. If it doesn't prompt you, you can manually capture all the field entries on the page w/ a single click.
- When You Return to a Site Already Saved in LastPass: There are 2 choices, Auto Fill and Auto Login. And they both do exactly what they say. If you have a site set to Auto Fill it will automatically fill in your password and username but NOT log you in. I use this for our multiple Gmail accounts so I can choose which one I want before clicking "Login". Auto Login, however, both auto fills AND presses the "Login" button to get you right into your account. This is very slick for sites where you only have one login, like utility bills and financial institutions.
- Cool Extras: In addition to logins, I also use LastPass to store home & work addresses as well as credit card info. Makes signing up for that Hammacher Schlemmer catalog a 1-click snap!
So now you know all about a FREE, beautifully-designed solution to a problem that's plagued you for far too long. You know it will will save you time and frustration, as well as make password management more secure. But you may still have some reservations. Is it 101% secure? I can't guarantee that....no one can. But I CAN guarantee that what you're doing now is most definitely NOT secure. I leave you with a quote and a question.
Question: If you're not using a password manager like LastPass, why not start today? Like....now. Take 30 sec. and download here. Leave a comment below when you're done.