A few years ago I learned a very valuable lesson: don’t use the same password for all your accounts. One morning I woke up to find that someone had managed to access my Paypal account and send themselves $250 dollars. To Paypal’s credit, they cancelled the transaction, refunded me the money and showed me how to enable two-factor authentication (something I will discuss in a later post). I spent the rest of the day going through all my accounts and changing the password to something harder to guess, but in the end, it was also harder to remember. Some security analysts recommend using a commonly used phrase and converting it to the password. For example, “I go to the park everyday on 21st street” could be “IgTtPEdoTwenty1ST”. Sure, it’s hard to crack, but it’s also hard to always remember.
Enter LastPass. The last password manager I (and you) will ever need. LastPass is more than just a password manager, it’s a secure environment where passwords and other notes can be stored. I use it primarily for password storage. It uses “AES-256 bit encryption with PBKDF2 SHA-256 and salted hashes” encryption. Don’t get me wrong, there are many password managers on the market, as reviewed by PC Magazine. Before I get into why LastPass is my favorite password manager, I want to direct you to the PC Magazine link that reviewed multiple password managers. I want to note that LastPass not only received a five-star rating, it’s an editor choice AND received a checkmark on all the criteria (the only one from the list). Boom! *Mic drop*.
But here’s why I like LastPass, in no specific order: 1) it has multiple platform and browser support; 2) it’s available on Windows, Mac, Mobile and yes even Linux!; 3) the plugin works with Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, Chrome and Opera and 4) It employs two-method authentication and supports a number of services (Google, Duomobile, etc).
There is a free version, but for $12 dollars a year, I highly recommend upgrading to the Premium version.