Lastpass is one of the few apps I describe as a “must-have”. Not only because it is free, but because it is just so practical and time-saving when it comes to all your password needs.
Overview & Features
Lastpass is a browser extension (or app) that manages all aspects of passwords effortlessly, integrating seamlessly with your web browser. Lastpass works with all web browser apps, and across all your devices, from your desktop computer, laptop, tablet to smart phones, conveniently storing all your account passwords in a highly secure cloud.
When visiting your existing accounts, Lastpass automatically fills in the username and password information and, if you wish, can sign you in automatically too (no need for you to even select Login, you just visit the site and you’re in).
Lastpass also generates and suggests strong passphrases on the spot when you need them, such as when signing up for new accounts.
The password information you have saved with Lastpass is also accessible through their website so your information is always accessible, even if you are without your device.
Lastpass also helps you fill in those annoying web forms, automatically detecting them and entering the necessary information such as your name, street address, phone numbers etc.
Lastpass’ Achilles Heal?
Just make sure that the passphrase you use for your Lastpass account is super strong. I cannot emphasize this enough. If anyone managed to hack into your Lastpass account they would have access to all of the account and password information you have stored. This is the one potential drawback that causes concern for some people.
Importantly, the encryption of your passphrase information happens locally (on your own device) before the information is sent to and saved by Lastpass servers in the cloud.
While there is no guarantee that Lastpass servers will never be breached, Lastpass’ entire business concept relies on them keeping secure their customer accounts so it applies tireless efforts in making sure that won't happen. Plus, as above, your information is encrypted before reaching the cloud in any event.
Lastpass also supports double-authentication so use it where possible. Using double authentication helps protect your account even if your master password were captured be it from keyloggers or other threats. This means someone would still be unable to gain access to your account without the second form of authentication.
The truth is that the greatest risk of someone breaching your Lastpass account is from you not using a strong passphrase. So, as always, follow best passphrase practices or use Lastpass’ generate password feature to suggest one.
The Price is Right ($0.00)
Lastpass is completely free to use for your desktop or laptop computers.
As part of this Lastpass review I should also mention that if you also want to use Lastpass on tablets and smart phones, you'll need Lastpass Premium which is only one dollar per month. A tiny investment and money well spent, believe me.
- A Single Weak Password Can Be Your Undoing (Why You Should Always Use Different Passphrases)
- Making and Keeping Track of Good Passphrases