Bulletproofing Passwords with LastPass

Have you ever felt like a sitting duck? Not on a lake or pond, but on the dark annals of the web where thousands of hackers and millions of their bots are trying to steal your identity all the time? Well I did feel like a sitting duck, roast beef, a wabbit and much more when the one password that I used across all my digital imprints — personal mail IDs, root server, domain name controller, PayPal, bank accounts, etc. — was hacked.

But now with 32 to 50 character passwords inclusive of alphabets of all cases, numbers and symbols, I am so confident that only the NSA can hack my password. I secured my online identities with LastPass and am gonna tell how to do it yourself.

Overview

LastPass is an online password manager which, with the help of your master password, remembers and stores all your passwords when you login to websites and facilitates — one click login after first use.

LastPass also is an automated form filer that can handle multiple identities and is a password generator capable of generating strong military grade passwords. You can access LastPass from Windows, Mac or Linux and from any modern browser using the free plugins. LastPass is a free service, however if you want multi-factor authentication like using a Yubikey and access via a native mobile app, it will cost you $12.

Overview

Overview

Security

Everyone’s primary concern when it comes to storing passwords off site, on the cloud or in a third party server is security. LastPass uses SSL to transfer data to & from your computer, this data is already encrypted with a 256bit key, AES algorithm, with a private key (the master password that only you know). To be concise, no one can decrypt and use your passwords; not even LastPass or its employees or a hacker.

Saving Passwords

After installing the LastPass plugin for your browser, you can start logging into sites with their respective credentials and LastPass will offer to store them. Once you agree to store them, it’s all done. It’s going to be one click logins from now on.

Login for the first time

Login for the first time

Save Password to LastPass

Save Password to LastPass

The next time you visit a site with stored login data, you can either choose to autofill login data or to auto-login, which works smoothly without any latency.

One Click Login

One Click Login

Generating Passwords

You can generate strong passwords with a variety of strings, numbers and symbols. All passwords generated are unique and the generated passwords are stored automatically. The built in strength indicator shows how safe the password you have generated is.

Genearting a Secure Password

Genearting a Secure Password

You can also create secure notes with sensitive information using LastPass. All the login data, generated passwords and secure notes are also stored locally and can be accessed & edited from the LastPass vault.

LastPass Local Vault

LastPass Local Vault

Filling Forms

LastPass has an excellent form filler with every field of data that could be requested by a website. You can create pre filled forms for multiple identities with multiple addresses, credit cards and email addresses keeping work and home separate.

Form Fill Information

Form Fill Information

Final Thoughts

Apart from all the awesome features, LastPass provides additional layer of security with a LastPass grid and one time passwords for accessing your LastPass account from public computers. LastPass can be accessed using a very user friendly mobile site or through native apps for Android, iPhone, Blackberry and Windows mobile.

LastPass is not exactly rocket science to learn and it is time all us moved from the stone age habit of using 5 or 6 character passwords with “1234″ or “pass” in them. You are all safe and secure until PayPal or your bank calls to tell you that the account has been cleaned out. Password security is the need of the hour and LastPass covers the last mile.

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  • http://www.fishmemory.net fractalbit

    I use lastpass for the past 3-4 months and i love it. Not only i have to remember only 1 password but i can easily change browsers and/or machines without re-training the new browser all the user/pass combinations all over again! Hope it is as secure as it is useful :)

  • jon

    I know this is probably very secure, it certainly sounds like it, I just have a really hard time using software to hold my passwords. Call it a trust issue or whatever, as much as I’d like to use something like this, I would have a hard time entrusting my banking login to it.

    Maybe I can use it for non-important sites.

    • Justin Stravarius

      If you cant trust a cloud based solution, please consider http://keepass.info/. Its free, open source and all passwords are stored in your PC. Having strong, unique passwords matter and not whether they are stored in the cloud or locally.

    • Ivan

      I feel the same – I wouldn’t feel comfortable letting a third party store my passwords (regardless of the type of security they offer).

      I recently started using keepass also – which is only accessible on my own machine – this type of tool becomes necessary because is not wise to use the same login details for all sites and it’s a bit difficult to keep all those combinations in memory.

  • http://www.davidturnbull.com David Turnbull

    I used LastPass for about 6 months and it was great, but I still ended up coming back to 1Password. It lacks the convenience of having your passwords integrated with all browsers, but there’s still 1PasswordAnywhere which is good enough for someone whose rarely away from their own computer. Plus, I always felt LastPass had a bit of a clunky interface – 1Password “just works” like an Apple product.

  • COBRAws

    You may choose a commercial free solution in php/mysql you can upload to your own host, and information is securely encrypted.

    http://www.clipperz.com/open_source

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