06 Aug Could LastPass help end our password woes?
In light of the news that Russian hackers have gained access to 1.2 million usernames and passwords only months after Heartbleed meant everyone had to change their passwords, and the eBay hacking that meant thousands of accounts were left vulnerable, its easy to question whether our passwords will ever be secure.
A lot of companies have published guidelines and tips after these security breaches with details on how we can make our passwords more secure. Informing the general public that passwords need to be more secure and that every password should be unique for every site you use, contain a mixture of letters numbers symbols etc. At the end of the day remembering a multitude of passwords for a number of sites isn’t always simple, especially if they are all a mix of numbers letters and symbols. You could write them down somewhere, but then you have the risk of losing your password list, saving them to a document on your computer is another option or keeping the password emails but both these methods could leave your passwords vulnerable if your system was hacked. Today I stumbled across a possible solution to future password woes: LastPass.
LastPass is a mostly free (the premium and business version are charged) piece password management software with a browser add-on that saves passwords in a secure format so that no one can access them. The software allows you to import any saved passwords you may already have in your web browser, removing them from the remember me feature used by websites and browsers as this can be very insecure. LastPass uses a master key to log you into your account so you only need to remember one username and password to access your passwords and other saved secure details.
One of the aspects that makes LastPass so secure is that usernames, passwords and the site they belong to are encrypted on your computer and saved in that format in LastPass’ database so even if LastPass was hacked none of the data would be usable by hackers. LastPass will also let you generate a secure password that you can use when creating an account so there’s no more trying to work out a secure phrase and replacing all the vowels with numbers. The browser add-on also offers the ability to save secure notes and form fields, so you could save card details securely and automatically fill them in then making a payment or make a note about a pin number on a site. When a password is changed LastPass will also prompt you to automatically update the password they have saved so it is always correct and up to date. So although it may seem that currently every few months something happens that compromises our online security, software like LastPass is there to help make passwords more secure and remembering passwords and login details all that bit easier.