Endless Passwords Got you Screaming? LastPass to the Rescue!

guy screaming - needs LastPass

“Oh No! What’s my login and password??”

We’ve all been there: We need the password … and we don’t have it with us … or we don’t remember where we put it … on and on.

Every time we sign up with online banking, online shopping, online bill paying, or even something fun ONLINE . . . we need to set up a login and password.  I can’t count the number of times a friend or colleague has said: “It seems we have endless passwords.” It affects our business life and our personal life.

So, how do we make sense of all these passwords?   Here’s one solution. Let’s jump in and look at LastPass!

1. What is Last Pass?

LastPass is a password manager which is owned by LogMeIn.  This is how it works:

  • We create a Master password that we need to remember.
  • We use this password to access LastPass.
  • Then LastPass remembers our other passwords. Yes, we remember ONE password and then Last Pass – a password manager – remembers the others.

2. Where Do I put LastPass?

Here’s some good news: we have some choices.

  • We can add LastPass to our computer browser (like Chrome).
  • We can also put LastPass on our phone or mobile device.

** LastPass has download instructions on their website **

3. How Does LastPass Work?

Once we create an account with LastPass, we create a master password to LastPass, we stay logged in to Last Pass, and we are good to go.

Use LastPass to save logins

  • Go to the site we want to set up a password.
  • Create a specific login and password.
  • LastPass will ask us if we want to save the login/password.  Yes, save it.

The next time we go to that site and need to log in, LastPass should auto-fill the information.  Note: once in a while Last Pass doesn’t auto fill, so at that point we can open Last Pass and still get the information.

** And remember for phone/mobile device lovers: you can install LastPass on your phone and the passwords are there waiting for you — yes, information in synced across devices. **

The Vault

I made a statement above that we can open Last Pass.  Once there, we can see our passwords that are kept in a “Vault”.  The example above was for a time when we need to open the Vault because Last Pass just didn’t auto fill. But there are other times we may need to open the Vault.  For example:  LastPass fills in the password without actually showing the password, but we may want to see the password. We can see the actual login and password by opening our Vault.

4. What about Security?

Security is always something I am worried about. Many apps state they have high security and are encrypted. It is important that apps clarify what security measures they take, so it’s great when they tell us …  but we accountants still get worried.

2-factor authentication

I like that the LastPass website states security measures they have taken,  BUT I also really like that they offer 2-factor authentication.  If we set up 2-factor authentication:

  • We log in to LastPass, but before they let us in,
  • They sends us a code as a second step for us to “approve” the login.

I go in to more detail on 2-factor authentication in a follow-up post.

5. What is the Cost?

Last Pass has a Free account and a Premium account. When you go to their website  there will be a button to sign up for the Free Account.  Also, at the top is a Pricing link that shows the additional features you get if you sign up for a Premium account.

The great thing about the Free Account is that you can try it out and see if you like it.  If you like it, you can stay with the Free or check out the Premium plan down the road.

And if you don’t like LastPass, hopefully you are on your way to looking at other apps that will help you manage the mass amount of passwords we all need to deal with.

Disclaimer: The information on this post and on the Barb Brady CPA website are for general information purposes only; it is not intended to be accounting, financial, tax, or legal advice. For further information, see Terms of Service.