LastPass — Password Manager
Did you know the top 3 worst password for 2016 were:
Every year, SplashData Inc. gathers a list of passwords from leaked sources and evaluates them. For 2016, SplashData gathered over 5 million leaked passwords to evaluate. Other noteworthy passwords include: qwerty, passw0rd, login, and abc123.
If you are one of these people, you need to smarten up. If you are dumb enough to use one of these passwords, you probably use the same password for multiple sites. A 2013 study by Ofcom, a UK communications watchdog showed that out of 1805 adults aged 16 and up, 55% of them used the same passwords for most if not all websites.
Using the same password for multiple sites is a horrible idea. If one website was to be hacked and everyone’s information leaked, someone can take your email/username and password and try it on other website to gain access. If they were to gain access to your email, they can get passwords for other important sites like banking or social media sites.
That is why you should be using a password manager like 1Password, KeePass, or LastPass. These services can store or even create hard to guess passwords and enter them into sites for you so you don’t need to remember them. You only need to remember 1 master password to log into the service.
Today I will be talking about LastPass.
I have been using LastPass for the past 2 years as a paid member. When I originally signed up, as a free member you were limited to the devices that could access the service, you could sign up for only smartphone access or only desktop access. Now anyone can sign up for a free account with access on any device for free.
The best part is all your passwords, notes and anything else is synced across all your devices, so as soon as you add a password on your desktop, you can go access it on your phone or tablet or wherever you want.
Premium offers a few extra benefits that may or may not be of use to you.
- Family password sharing (up to 5 users, with the Shared Family Folder)
- 1GB encrypted file storage
- Priority customer support
- Extra security with Premium two-factor authentication (YubiKey and Sesame)
- Desktop application logins (with LastPass for Applications)
- Desktop fingerprint identification
- An ad-free vault
Having used LastPass for the last 2 years, I’ll give my feedback on the service.
Signing up is a breeze. They ask for your email, your master password, which will be your main password for accessing the service, and an optional reminder for your password.
The Desktop experience is similar to the Mobile experience, but will a few differences.
Starting with Desktop
The 4.0 interface is clean and straightforward. In the bottom right, there is a little + sign.
You can add new folders so you can organize your passwords into different categories. You can also choose passwords or documents to share with others, which is great for a collaboration environment or if you have a family account for Netflix and you want to share your login. There is also an option to add a secure note that could be an Address, or a Credit Card, or any note you can think of. The final button is the ‘Add Site Button’, which is the main point behind this service.
Add Site allows you to put in the website URL, website name, your username, and you can enter in a password or have it generate a password for you. You can then choose which folder you want it organized in and you can add any additional notes that may be important for that website.
You can also use an extension for your browser so you don’t need to go through this method all the time.
Having the extension allows you to go to any website you want to sign up for and it can take the information from the fields you fill in and save them. It can also generate a password in the password field. If you have already signed up for a website but haven’t added it to your vault, LastPass will offer to save the site for you.
There is also the form fill feature. This allows you to store information like your address, credit card information or any information you have to constantly type out. Form fill allows you to just input that information into all fields instead of having to type it out.
Another cool feature is the Security Challenge feature. This feature analyses your security, looking for easy passwords, repeat passwords, old passwords, and passwords from compromised sites and gives you an individual score and a comparison score against all LastPass members. It then gives you step-by-step instructions on improving your password. For certain websites as well, they have an auto-change password where LastPass will login and change the password for you automatically.
Another key feature you should consider enabling is two-factor authentication. This feature requires a second step before you can login to certain accounts. Usually using your phone, you get a small code sent to you or a request that requires you to click accept. These are usually time sensitive, making it harder for people to break in. This is a great way to prevent hacking or data leaks. On websites that support two-factor authentication, even if your password was leaked or hacked, the person would still need physical access to your device to log in; the password won’t do much otherwise.
Moving onto Mobile
Mobile has many of the same features that the desktop version offers including auto-fill, Security Challenge, and multi-factor authentication. It also allows users to use LastPass as a browser instead of the phones default browser or any other browser.
Auto-login works slightly different on mobile though. This is also the only issue I’ve had with LastPass. I’m using this on Android, so I’m not sure if these issues happen on iPhones or even if it’s only limited to my device, although I have come across some similar complaints when trying to find solutions online. When using LastPass on mobile, a popup appears when filling in login data where you tap the site and it automatically fills in the information. You can also set a pin code so you don’t have to enter your master password every single time and you can have it log out after a certain amount of time so it is less likely for someone to access your passwords if they gain access to your device.
A few problems though are that the popup can pop up when you don’t want it. It has happened quite often, there is a search bar and once I tap it, the popup appears asking which information I want to enter. Other times, I’m tapping the space to fill in the information and a pop-up doesn’t appear for me to select a site. This requires a full closing in the app then reopening it so the pop-up will appear. A few other times I’m on a website I have saved in my account, but LastPass doesn’t recognize it, so instead of an option to search in the pop-up, I can only add another login. When this happens, you have to go into the main app and copy you password and paste it but then there is sometimes the issue where sites don’t allow you to paste in your data or don’t allow auto-fill. This isn’t LastPass’ problem but it makes logging into some sites very difficult.
Another feature LastPass mobile offers, is app-fill bubble. This leaves a small bubble on your screen that you can tap and have the window pop up to fill in data. This is helpful when logging into an app and you don’t want to copy and paste your login information. The only issue is that you can’t easily hide the bubble so it will always be on your screen unless you go and turn off the setting. You can move the bubble anywhere you want, but it still stays on your screen.
The issue I have had though is the bubble never stays for me. It works for a day or two but then disappears completely and does not come back. The only way to get it back is to go into settings, turn it off then back on and the bubble returns. This may only be limited to my device though because I haven’t seen any complaints online about this issue.
These issues are not enough to stop me from using LastPass though. The service is a great way to stay secure, store information, and auto-login to websites. If you find you have weak passwords, repeat passwords or you are writing your passwords down on paper, or are forgetting them easily, a password manager may be the best option for you.
Check out LastPass now.