Remember back in the day when you only had only a couple passwords? You had the password for your email and the password for your MySpace. Other than that, most other websites wouldn’t even require you to have a password so remembering only a handful of passwords wasn’t a big deal. Just keep a couple of sticky notes on your monitor and you were good to go.
Nowadays, you have passwords for everything: your Facebook, Twitter, banking, any number of sites featuring articles you’d like to comment on, etc. On top of that, everyone hears that your passwords should be unique and you shouldn’t have any passwords playing “double duty,” that is, you shouldn’t have a total of three passwords you cycle through. On top of all of this, you hear rules like your password shouldn’t be any recognizable word, your password should contain symbols, your password should be a mix of upper case and lower case characters. And we only have a limited amount of space on our monitors to put sticky notes before it obstructs our vision so what are we to do?
Fortunately for us humans, we have this idea of a password manager. A password manager is a digital kit that can store all of your passwords, help us auto-generate passwords with all of those crazy numbers and symbols, and even have features to automatically fill in form fields when we log in to websites so we don’t even have to type anything.
Friends and family alike know that I’m a huge advocate of using password managers for security. In this day and age in which we live, we hear of people stealing passwords all the time and it leading to credit card theft or even identity theft! Though there are so many other reasons people end up with stolen credentials, using a password manager is the first line of defense that anyone has against a hacker and, often the easiest to implement.
My personal favorite password manager is LastPass. LastPass is a browser plug-in (available for every major browser) and mobile app that will store all of your passwords (at least all the ones that you tell LastPass to remember) and will store them using cloud-based technology. All you need to do to be able to access these passwords is to create one master password (make it strong) to log in with from anywhere with an internet connection. Once logged in, you’ll be able to save, generate, and have LastPass auto-login to your favorite websites with no hassles of “Dang it, I forgot my password.” The best part of LastPass is that it’s free on your computer! The one caveat to the whole process is that to use LastPass on a mobile device will cost $12 a year which works out to a dollar a month which is nothing when you consider the benefit of being able to access important content such as Facebook on your phone.