In the last two months, I’ve used over one hundred and fifty (150) passwords for various logins, whether they be professional, educational, or personal. You probably think I’m crazy, how can one girl have that many passwords? Well, take a moment to think about it.
I almost guarantee you have one personal email address, two or three different social media sites, online banking, online logins for insurance, car loans, cell phone apps, work passwords (even the one you use to log in to your computer), phone passwords… honestly, the list simply goes on and on. In today’s society, with our technologically based life styles, we have a lot of passwords. Unfortunately, this means that we tend to use the same basic password for multiple logins, occasionally throwing in an “@” or “_” symbol or altering the ending numbers ever so slightly – but not too much, because we need to remember our passwords. These passwords that all had different requirements (i.e. You must have nine different symbols, three unique numbers and no words found in the English dictionary. This password must also be fifty letters long.) that they must meet.
Soon, because our brains can only recall so many different versions of the same password, we start writing them down on sticky notes and shoving them onto our cubicle walls with push pins and taping them to the back of our computer monitors. Then two months later, we have to re-write them down because there’s a need for a new password with new requirements, since it’s been sixty days and all.
In a world filled with passwords and usernames, it’s almost impossible to keep track of them and, simultaneously, keep our accounts secure. I’ve worked with someone (shout out to Mason) who literally kept all of his passwords and bank account information in a Microsoft Word document on his work desktop. Needless to say, when every password is like a puzzle that we have to build, then mold and fit to every scenario, we start to forget – or even neglect – the requirement for these passwords to remain in a secure location.
So, what if I told you there was an easy and, best of all, free app that will manage your account security for you? Would you be interested? Would you download it?
Let me introduce you to your new favorite widget, your new favorite website, and your new favorite cellphone app! The best part of them all is, you only have to actually remember one password for the rest of your LIFE! The name of this magic solution, you ask – LastPass (follow the link and click “Create an Account Now”).
Before I glorify it anymore, let me explain a few little details that might be important:
- LastPass is a free application, in general. However, there is a “Premium” account that allows you co-manage information, automatically make bill payments, and share specific information with others. I personally us the regular version, as the upgrade costs $23.99. Optimistically, though, your first month is “Premium” for free. So if the features that I don’t need appeal to you, you can buy them after your trial period expires.
- LastPass is an account based application, so you can log in on your computer. The best part is, there is a Google Chrome and Internet Explorer widget that tracks and saves your password data as you go. You also have the option to enter in data manually.
- LastPass has so many free and awesome features. My favorite is probably either the ability to generate and automatically save new passwords or the Security Check option, which ensures that you have no matching passwords and that all of your passwords are strong.
Now that I let you know some of what the app does, let me tell you how it simplifies my life. As I announced, I have a lot of passwords, but because of LastPass, I only have to remember one “master” password. Since I’ve been using this app, my PayPal does not get hacked anymore (finally, I’m not watching someone else spend my money) and I don’t have sticky notes covered in gibberish all over the place. In fact, I downloaded the LastPass widget at work and I don’t even have to have my phone, all I do is open my browser, click once to copy the password and… BAM! I have access to everything and don’t have to reset passwords constantly.
Does the app/service have flaws? Yes, sometimes it doesn’t save a new password or it won’t automatically reset the password – yup, that’s another feature – correctly. However, I deal with it. That’s really the only issue I’ve had in the last two months!