So. Many. Passwords.
And they have to be long and complex. How the heck is anyone supposed to remember any of their passwords, much less all of them?
Don’t fret; I got your back.
It’s time to start using a…
A password manager is a small program that generates good passwords for you, keeps track of them, and automatically enters them when you need ’em.
Imagine this: You have a ton of long, strong passwords for email, your bank account, you Netflix login… and you don’t know a single one of them. Instead, your password manager takes care of all that for you. You just do what you need to do.
Once you start using a password manager, all you need to remember moving forward are the passwords for your computer and the manager. All the rest of your passwords are safely stored.
The best part is that most password managers have hooks to the cloud so that you can share your passwords across all your devices.
Woah, woah, woah! Passwords? Cloud?!?
I hear you; it definitely sounds counter-intuitive. But let’s work it through:
- Over-all security: Who’s gonna be better at designing and enforcing security: You, or a team of highly skilled and motivated geeks who make their pay doing this?
- One word: Encryption. Your passwords are secret, even from LastPass itself, much less potential attackers.
- Worst case scenario: Hackers get your passwords. It’s not any different from your credentials getting stolen from anywhere else. You reset your passwords and move on.
Password Manager How-to
I currently use LastPass as my go-to password manager. Here’s why:
- Super easy!
- Great browser integrations (Chrome, Firefox, IE, etc.)
- Cross-platform love: It works on PCs, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS
- Two-factor “Authenticator” app
- Easy password sharing with co-workers
- Cheap! It’s free for web browsers, and only $12/year if you want the mobile version too
It’s really easy to install LastPass. Just go here and follow the directions. It’ll install a plugin to your browser, and you’ll be ready to go in under two minutes.
There’s one thing I don’t like about LastPass: The mobile interface can be kind of clunky. It’s not a seamless, “get out of my way and just make it happen” experience like it could (and should!) be. That said, it does work, and it’s far and away better than not using a password manager at all.
There are plenty of other password managers out there that do similar things. Here’s a good round-up of them.
I used KeePass for years, and was quite happy with it. It’s free, open source, and has multiple add-ons and integrations that allow it to do and be almost anything you want in a password manager. I changed to LastPass simply because it was easier and more efficient. I wanted to spend less time managing my password manager.
Want a little help getting your password manager setup and running? Maybe you need some other kind of password help? Give me a shout and let me know how I can help.