How much mental energy do you waste remembering passwords?
It’s OK. If you’re anything like me, it’s probably a lot. You’d be surprised at how many online accounts you actually have that require passwords.
But just because you have a million passwords doesn’t mean you have to waste mental energy remembering all of them.
Once upon a time, before I knew better, and for a while after I knew better but was still being lazy, I used to use the same password for everything. What was even worse? It wasn’t all that strong of a password. But really, who’s going to remember 12-character, strong passwords for 100 websites? Not me!
My brother works for a company that’s involved in online encryption and when he found out how terrible my password management was, he made his displeasure known. So, because I didn’t want him to annoy me about it any more, I went and changed them all to much longer and more complicated passwords.
Here we come across the second problem. How on earth was I supposed to remember all of these new, better passwords? Well, I knew I wouldn’t so I put them all in a spreadsheet and saved it on my computer. Problem solved, I thought! Wrong. Enter my brother again. He
couldn’t believe what he was hearing kindly pointed out that if anyone were to ever hack into my computer they would not just have access to one password, but to all of them!
So, I finally listened to the advice my brother had given me in the beginning (and which I had promptly ignored) to use a password manager. I am now a convert, and I can’t imagine going back to the insanity that was my life before.
The password manager I use is called LastPass and, I’ll be honest, I didn’t even do any research on it before I started using it. My brother said it was the one to use, so I used it. But, after using it for a while I decided to try and compare it to other companies. I found out that (surprise, surprise) my brother was right all along. It’s one of the best password managers around.
LastPass remembers all your passwords for you. It autofills the username and password fields on websites for you, and it will even generate strong passwords for you when it comes time to create new ones. And it does all this for free! You just download an extension for your browser and everything is hunky dory.
To keep all this information safe, you have one master password to access LastPass (so this is one you have to remember on your own). All your other passwords are encrypted on your computer, and you can add multi-step authentication for extra security.
If you want to use LastPass on a mobile device, it costs $12/year to upgrade to the Premium version. (If you don’t upgrade you can still log into the website on your mobile device to retrieve your passwords.) At first I was being cheap and tried to use it without upgrading, but it was too cumbersome so I coughed up the $12. It was totally worth it. LastPass will automatically fill in your info in apps that you open which require passwords, and you don’t have to think twice about it.
There are other good password managers out there too, so you don’t have to go with LastPass. But you definitely should be using some sort of password manager. Trust me, it will end up making your life so much easier!
What about you? Do you already use a password manager? If so, what one and do you like it?