Remember only 1 password and manage the others with LastPass

Before I started using LastPass, I was very skeptic about storing my passwords in the cloud. What would happen if somebody would be able to hack my account and get a hold of all my passwords? What would happen when the servers are down?
We were talking about passwords and not just a simple non secured document. Losing my passwords could lead to identity theft and even losing money.


Now, why did I start using LastPass?

LastPass actually means ‘The Last Password you need to remember”. And the last password you need to remember is the LastPass password.
I use several internet services (like personal email accounts, work email account, Twitter, Facebook, task management, YouTube or Vimeo, …) and it was a mess to remember all the passwords. Or maybe it was easy since I used the same password several times… So far for my password security.

If you want to have security (or better say as much security as possible) you need to have different passwords for all your log-ins, and these passwords should be random. So something like “Gt!58*:EfZ(Indeed, they look like 1234567, password1 or CoolDude.

And even when I used secure passwords, I got frustrated in remembering them and it is difficult not to write them down in a Moleskine notebook somewhere. Unencrypted…

Here come secure passwords!

With LastPass you can start using secure passwords. Heck, you don’t even have to remember them. You can generate a secure password with LastPass and then store it encrypted together with your username for that website or service.

When you browse to that site, LastPass will automagically fill in your username and password, or suggest filling it in (if you use more than 1 account to that specific website or service).

How does it work?

Downloading and installing the plug-in, as well as creating your new LastPass account, takes less than 5 minutes.
After downloading a version that supports the browser of your choice (Internet explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera) for your Operating System of your choice (Windows, Mac or Linux) you can start using it. There is even a version for Chrome and Firefox Portable (installed on a USB thumb drive).

After installation you need to create a LastPass account with a master password (this is all done during the installation process) and you will need to choose a master password. This is your last password to remember, so pick it good and secure. After installation restart your browser and you will see an extra icon in your browser toolbar. Red indicates you’re logged in, while gray indicates you’re not. Once logged in, you can visit your “Password Vault”, which is LastPass’ spreadsheet layout of your passwords.

LastPass can import the saved passwords from your browser or from another password manager you were using (like Keepass, 1password, ..).

Is it safe?

Yes. The encryption/decryption occurs on your own computer, not on the LastPass servers. This means, that an encrypted password is stored on the LastPass servers and your sensitive information does not travel the Internet from the server to your PC.

You have an encryption key on your computer and that key is created from your email address and the Master Password you have chosen during the setup of LastPass.

Can I use it on more than 1 computer?

Sure. You can install the browser add-ons on many computers and if you are working on a shared computer or on a computer where you can’t install anything, you can access your LastPass Vault via the web interface. This allows you to copy and paste usernames and passwords from your Vault to your login-window. When you copied a password in memory (to the Clipboard) it stays there for 30 seconds by default. You can change this if needed or required.
You can also use One-Time-Password to login on a shared computer.

Here are a few other features of LastPass:

  • Automatic Form filling
  • One click login
  • Synchronize across multiple browsers and computers
  • Generate strong passwords
  • Share passwords with other LastPass users
  • Identify weak passwords with the LastPass Security Challenge
  • On-screen keyboard to enter your LastPass Master password (to protect you from key loggers)

And the best thing?

It is free. The basic functionality is free. There is a premium account too which costs $12/year. The free version will be more than enough for most users, at least to start with. Upgrading to the Premium version will get you LastPass on mobile devices (IOS, WebOs, Windows Mobile,Android, ..), multifactor authentication via USB Thumb drives or YubiKey, the ability to use LastPass without installing the plug-in and priority support..

Oh, and for now, you can get 1 month of Premium access if you register via this link

Question: Do you use secure passwords? Do you use a password manager? You can explain which one, and why or why not. You can leave a comment.

Before I started using LastPass, I was very skeptic about storing my passwords in the cloud. What would happen if somebody would be able to hack my account and get a hold of all my passwords? What would happen when the servers are down?
We were talking about passwords and not just a simple non secured document. Losing my passwords could lead to identity theft and even losing money.

Now, why did I start using LastPass?

LastPass actually means ‘The Last Password you need to remember”. And the last password you need to remember is the LastPass password.
I use several internet services (like personal email accounts, work email account, Twitter, Facebook, task management, youtube or vimeo, …) and it was a mess to remember all the passwords. Or maybe it was easy since I used the same password several times… So far for my password security.

If you want to have security (or better say as much security as possible) you need to have different passwords for all your log-ins, and these passwords should be random. So something like “Gt!58*:EfZ(Indeed, they look like 1234567, password1 or CoolDude.

And even when I used secure passwords, I got frustrated in remembering them and it is difficult not to write them down in a Moleskine notebook somewhere. Unencrypted…

Here come secure passwords!

With LastPass you can start using secure passwords. Heck, you don’t even have to remember them. You can generate a secure password with LastPass and then store it encrypted together with your username for that website or service.

When you browse to that site, LastPass will automagically fill in your username and password, or suggest filling it in (if you use more than 1 account to that specific website or service).

How does it work?

Downloading and installing the plug-in, as well as creating your new LastPass account, takes less than 5 minutes.
After downloading a version that supports the browser of your choice (Internet explorer, Firefox, Chrome, Safari or Opera) for your Operating System of your choice (Windows, Mac or Linux) you can start using it. There is even a version for Chrome and Firefox Portable (installed on a USB thumb drive).

After installation you need to create a LastPass account with a master password (this is all done during the installation process) and you will need to choose a master password. This is your last password to remember, so pick it good and secure. After installation restart your browser and you will see an additional icon in your browser toolbar. Red indicates you’re logged in, while gray indicates you’re not. Once logged in, you can visit your “Password Vault”, which is LastPass’ spreadsheet layout of your passwords.

LastPass can import the saved passwords from your browser or from another password manager you were using (like Keepass, 1password, ..).

Is it safe?

Yes. The encryption/decryption occurs on your own computer, not on the LastPass servers. This means, that an encrypted password is stored on the LastPass servers and your sensitive information does not travel the Internet from the server to your PC.

You have an encryption key on your computer and that key is created from your email address and the Master Password you have chosen during the setup of LastPass.

Can I use it on more than 1 computer?

Sure. You can install the browser add-ons on many computers and if you are working on a shared computer or on a computer where you can’t install anything, you can access your LastPass Vault via the web interface. This allows you to copy and paste usernames and passwords from your Vault to your login-window. When you copied a password in memory (to the Clipboard) it stays there for 30 seconds by default. You can change this if needed or required.
You can also use One-Time-Password to login on a shared computer.

Here are a few other features of LastPass:

  • Automatic Form filling
  • One click login
  • Synchronize across multiple browsers and computers
  • Generate strong passwords
  • Share passwords with other LastPass users
  • Identify weak passwords with the LastPass Security Challenge
  • On-screen keyboard to enter your LastPass Master password (to protect you from key loggers)

And the best thing?

It is free. The basic functionality is free. There is a premium account too which costs $12/year. The free version will be more than enough for most users, at least to start with. Upgrading to the Premium version will get you LastPass on mobile devices (IOS, WebOs, Windows Mobile,Android, ..), multifactor authentication via USB Thumb drives or YubiKey, the ability to use LastPass without installing the plug-in and priority support..

About Patrick Sledz

Patrick works as a consultant. He assists organizations to deliver SharePoint business value and create the awareness in these organizations that only a strong technical team is not sufficient to deliver this added value.

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