Password security is extremely important these days. With all of the security breaches, there is a chance that your name, username, email and possibly password made it into the hands of people that mean to do harm. One of the best ways to defend yourself against these security breaches it to have unique strong passwords at each website. While in practice this a good idea, it is hard to follow this rule when you have a large number of usernames and passwords to track. A great tool to solve this problem is a password manager.
About six months ago I decided to follow my own advice and install the software LastPass. So far, I love it! LastPass is a password manager that I read about in a few reviews and liked the feel of the website so I thought I would give it a try. It also has the added benefit of being free. The free version works well for desktop use and there is a premium version which includes mobile device support. There is also an enterprise version which integrates with ActiveDirectory and allows for multifactor authentication.
A password manager really works well to keep track of multiple passwords for multiple websites. It is a great tool to help have a unique strong password for each website that you use. You do use different passwords for each website, right?? I now do a 2-step authentication and don’t have to enter another password until I walk away from the computer. Even if you set LastPass to remember your master password and not timeout (not recommended), it is one thousand times better than using the same password for every website. One of the great features is you can generate new passwords as you are making a new account on a new website. This makes it very easy to make strong unique passwords every time.
I was worried that the whole process would be cumbersome, but I have only run into minor inconveniences. The biggest inconvenience comes into play if you are somewhere that you don’t have your handy LastPass plugin to use. This problem is easily solved by logging into the LastPass website and retrieving your passwords via your password vault. The other issue has to do with commonly used logins like your Amazon or Apple ID. In this case, just use a password that you can remember and don’t use a complicated generated password. I would also recommend not using it to save your e-mail password so that you can reset your other passwords if you need to. Make sure these common website passwords are unique and use two-step authentication if possible.
All in all, any password manager is a great tool for password security. The inconveniences are insignificant compared to the benefits.