Prep Tech

3/18/2016

Password Managers

Juggling a hundred different passwords is a pain. Common complaints stem from various security regulations websites set in place when choosing a password. You're told not to use the same password for all your accounts, but it's impossible to remember all those unique passwords. So you break the rule and use your "go-to" password for most accounts, except for the sites that require your password to be at least 27 characters in length and to include at least one uppercase letter, one lowercase letter, a special symbol, two ampersands, three hieroglyphic characters, eight roman numerals, etc. So that throws your whole password system off.
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Password Managers are a lifesaver. There are many to choose from but I'm going to show you my favorite: LastPass.

LastPass

LastPass functions as a digital filing cabinet for all of your passwords, but it's also a browser extension that fills in your passwords automatically when you visit a page. When you install LastPass, you will be asked to create one master account. This will become the only password you have to remember going forward -- LastPass will remember all the rest.


LastPass installs browser extensions for any browser (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.). When you sign into an account that LastPass doesn't know, you will be asked if you want LastPass to remember the information:

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Once you have a site saved, any time you revisit it you will now have these icons next to username and password fields:
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The fields will automatically fill in with the username and password you have for that site, so all you have to do is hit Sign In. It's convenient for sites you visit often, so you're not stuck typing in the same password over and over again throughout the day -- but it's also great for sites you don't visit often, since LastPass will remember that password you invented 8 months ago and have since forgotten.

Other Uses

It's true that having the same password for many important sites can be a future disaster for you. Since LastPass is handling the load of remembering, you can also pass on the chore of creating unique passwords. When you make a new account, or change a password for an existing account, LastPass gives you the option of letting it autogenerate a random sequence of characters to be your password, which is much harder for someone (or a computer) to hack.


Test your current "go-to" password (or something similar to it to be safe) at howsecureismypassword.net to see how long it would take a computer running through every combination of characters to reach a matching sequence. Try out the different between "mittens" vs. "7y!jr5k9_mls32". One is easy to remember and one is uncrackable, but a password manager allows you to have an option of which one you want to use. And your master LastPass password allows you to look up that autogenerated password anytime you need to.

Ask me for help!

Keep in mind that this won't work for computer logins (like your main Prep login account). There's more LastPass can do for you, but the above is enough in my opinion to try it out if passwords are a source of headaches for you. And, as always, let me know if you need help getting started!


Have a great weekend!

Thanks for reading!

Feel free to e-mail me any questions.