I’m completely sick of the number of hacks that big corporations have allowed which has exposed so many users’ data as well as story after story that is out there with people having to go through identity fraud. It really is scary how easily it happens, whether the hack includes social engineering or a complex setup of coding, phishing, and brute force attacks.
That being said, there are several things that you can do, starting with a strong password. To do this well, we expect that you will use a password manager. There are several out there, but I have the most experience with LastPass. I also assume that you will be using the paid version of LastPass as I go over some of those features below. People, it’s $12/year. That’s worth the cost.
Here are four reasons to use LastPass.
1. You Won’t Be Using The Same Password On Every Site
The issue of needing to come up with very complex, 16 character passwords that includes non-alphabetic characters is that you simply cannot remember them unless you write them down or use the same password over and over. Writing them down is simply a terrible move to begin with (if you are doing that, stop immediately) and the alternative is what I assume most others do themselves. In fact, I found myself doing this for years. I had the most complex password, but if someone were to get my password I use with HomeDepot, they were going to have access to everything I own including email and my bank account.
LastPass prevents this by saving all of your passwords for you on an easy to use web interface that you can access anywhere. (There are other ways to access it that we will get to in a moment. Further, LastPass actually gives you a tool to generate passwords of various lengths, with special characters, and more features. I highly recommend you use this for every online account you have, make every password minimum 16 characters long, and a unique password for EVERYTHING. Yes, this will take some time, but it’s simply a bit of change so that you do not accidently give away your congregations credit card information, access to your church’s website, or any other concerns you may have to a hacker. Is it 100% guaranteed? No, but you can say you did everything within your power if something goes wrong.
2. Great Plugin Support
This is the first thing that actually drew me to LastPass as no other service had this at the time. You can use something like Chrome extensions that will interact with your LastPass account after you have logged into the service. It should be noted it will keep you logged in until you have fully closed down your browser, which I recommend you doing regularly. Once you are logged into LastPass’s Chrome extension or other browser plugins they support, you can go to your GMail login screen and instead of having to remember your password, it will autofill all of the fields for you. Remember how you were worried about needing to remember all of your passwords in the previous point? Now you do not have to, it’s taken care of.
3. Great Mobile App
This was new to me. I had been using the service for over a year when I realized they had a mobile application. You need the subscription service to use this, but let’s just say that it’s invaluable. For my Android device, once logged into the account and given the correct permissions (which they easily lay out how to enable), it works exactly like the browser plugins. When you pull up your Facebook application, it autofills your fields for you. If for some reason a website or application does not allow you to autofill fields, the application will allow you to copy/paste from the application the username and/or password for that service, making it only mildly inconvenient. And is a bit of inconvenience worth this level of security? Absolutely.
4. Sharing Passwords With A Team Without Them Seeing Your Password
This one is a game changer. They have implemented the Sharing Center for companies and organizations. If you are in charge of your team or church’s technology or accounts, pay attention. You do not want anyone to have complete access. Say a youth pastor is running the social media accounts and has the passwords. You fire him but no one else has access. Now what? Or your the pastor running your blog and need someone to give you help, but do not feel comfortable giving someone your password. What to do?
Share center allows you to share your password with someone else that uses LastPass. Some of the options it gives is to share including to allow them to view or not view what the password is and to rescind your shared password. Therefore, you have one account to control them all and do not have to worry about too many people managing too many church or team accounts.
Want to see their promotion for the service? Here is their YouTube video for what I’ve shared above.
I’m not getting any money for this, it’s just sound security advice. Take advantage of it.
Are you using a password manager?
Sound off in the comments with what you are or are not using, why, and what you think about it.