Recently I was asked how I was able to remember all of the passwords for all of the accounts I have. As members of the Mobile Money Nation know, I review a lot of different financial accounts, most of which I actually open accounts with to test out their app first hand. Trying to create different passwords for each site, that are difficult to guess, yet easy to remember, would be nearly impossible if I relied just on my memory.
Saving my passwords in a notebook, sticky note, or in a note app on my phone wouldn't cut it either. That's a potential security and privacy nightmare. These could be easily stolen by someone eventually, giving access to all of my accounts. With all of these financial accounts, email addresses, and the 10s to 100s of apps that many of us use on our smartphones, a password manager is essential!
Create Your "Last" Pass Word!
I started using LastPass about 5 years ago. With several email addresses, financial accounts for myself as well as my family, and a parent who has trouble remembering their passwords as well, it was getting overwhelming to try to remember every password without using the same password over and over again.
With LastPass all you have to remember is ONE PASSWORD. That is the password you use to login to the LastPass website, application on iOS & Android, or when using the extension in Chrome, Internet Explorer, or Safari. Once you're logged in you can access passwords for all of the websites and applications you use. You can even leave notes for yourself in the Secure Notes vault. Use this if you need to save any special instructions related to a particular website, credit card numbers, wifi passwords, or even for contingency planning if needed. Pretty much anything that you used to use a sticky note for, this is the area where you can save this information.
What's even better is you can use LastPass to create stronger passwords. Since you won't necessarily need to remember your passwords anymore, you can use their randomizer to make longer harder to guess passwords, that meet all of the criteria of most websites these days...as far as the length, special characters, and number requirements of the password you create.
LastPass Premium Account is just $3 per month, billed annually for $36 a year. This allows you to store an unlimited amount of passwords for every account you have. Think about all of the email accounts, websites, apple ID, Android logins, social media accounts, bank accounts, brokerage accounts, work logins, doctor or other health account logins, retirement accounts, your kids or parents accounts, your spouses accounts, grandparents, and whatever or whoever else I may be forgetting. In fact take a quick scroll through to see all of the apps installed on your smartphone. That's a lot of passwords to remember! And you can't just make your password "PASSWORD" and expect to survive in this almost totally digital economy with hackers working 24/7 to find an easy target.
Tired of typing your name, shipping address, billing address, phone number, email, and other information into fields online whenever you're signing up for a new service, making an order, or setting up a new account? You can safely save default information that you'll use over and over again into the form fill section of LastPass. This can include credit card information if you don't like to setup new accounts for online retailers every time you shop online, or fill out a survey. Just setup your form fill, and you're just a few clicks away from filling in all of this information instantly. If you're an online shopaholic...maybe this is a bad idea! You may not want to be able to get to checkout that fast!
The Security Challenge section is an area that can help you with increasing the security of all of the accounts that are saved in LastPass. LastPass can analyze the complexity of individual passwords, as well as let you know if you've used the same password too many times across multiple accounts. If someone were to figure out your password for one account, they would definitely try that same password to try and login into any other accounts they're able to find. With Security breaches happening essentially all the time now in this digital world, your password could have been stolen from one of the many websites you log into, and then sold on the dark web. Just search on your favorite search engine for the phrase "recent security (or data or privacy) breaches" and you'll certainly find one related to an account you use! PrivacyRights.org is also an excellent source to keep up with recent breaches.
A great feature with the Security Challenge section is that if you do have a lot of overlap, or a lot of passwords that are easy for hackers to guess, you can run the Security Challenge and receive a score on how susceptible you may be based on your password choices. Then you can change the passwords to all, or most of your online accounts in one click! You will get a list of recommended changes for: Compromised Sites, Weak Passwords, Reused Passwords, and Old Passwords which have not been changed in a long time. With some of the websites you will have the option to select a checkbox for those sites, and let LastPass change the passwords on all of those site in one click by running a script it uses for those sites. If LastPass has any issues changing the passwords, or if the sites show up in the list of sites they're unable to automatically change, just click on the "launch site" button. This will allow you to go to each site manually and change the password. Now that your'e using LastPass, I would recommend just using the random password generator since you won't ever need to remember anything other than the password to log into the LastPass app and Browser Extension.
LastPass Family Plan makes it easy for families to share passwords, either on a permanent basis, or emergency basis. With the Family Plan, you can have up to 6 Total users all for just $4 a month! Each user has their own login to LastPass, so you don't have to share your main login password with each family member if you were all using the same account in the past. One of the issues you would run into if you were to use the regular premium account with multiple people, on multiple devices, is that you may be asked to login into LastPass again. But also with multiple people needing to remember the same password, it's much easier to just have a different password for each individual user. You as one user will already have multiple devices you have to account for, so don't add more by sharing one Premium Account! For desktop/laptop use, LastPass essentially gives a specific device in a specific location access for 30 days. You can name the device as well, that way if you need to check login history to ensure no one has access to your account that shouldn't, you will be able know because you may be asked to verify your login via email. You can also setup the LastPass Authenticator app, or a 3rd party App like the Google Authenticator, to use as two factor authentication (2FA). I personally use the Google Authenticator app, but this is more because I was already using this app for access to other websites and applications prior to starting the use of LastPass. Using the LastPass Authenticator is much more efficient, because it will automatically recognize the LastPass Authenticator which can be setup for push notifications. With Google Authenticator you'll need to open this app separately, then enter the current code into your browser or phone in order to authenticate your login session. You won't need to do this on a regular basis, only if you log into LastPass from an unrecognized device or location.
In addition to having access for 5 additional users for just $1 more than the premium account, the main feature that stands out for the Family Plan is Sharing passwords. If there are certain logins that you want all, or just some, of your family to have access to, you can setup Sharing Folders for those accounts. Passwords related to your finances, taxes, medical, insurance, or even just entertainment accounts can be shared with the whole family or just certain members. You can even setup a folder for your kids email or social media accounts. Or maybe a folder for that forgetful family member, or non-tech savvy family member you're always helping with online activities. It's definitely worth the extra $1 per month to get all of your family's password lives in order, instead of keeping all of this information in your head or on a sheet of paper that others can easily access.
So for any of you out there who need help keeping up with your passwords, or want an easy to use tool to keep your passwords safe, and make them more difficult for snoopers to guess and use, checkout LastPass Premium or LastPass Family. It's been a really useful product for me. If you have any questions about the product, my experience, or you would like to share your experience, be sure to let me know in the comments below!
AJ Mobile Money
Husband | Father | YouTuber | Former ATLien
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