A password is the last frontier. There are just two requirements when it comes to passwords – create strong passwords, and find a way to use them without remembering them all. If you have a bevy of passwords for the sites you visit, the last word in password management just about belongs to LastPass.
Testimonials about LastPass fly thick and fast. But is it the last word when it comes to password management? If so, then which features help it to wear the crown? Let’s fire it up and see what LastPass can do for us (rather than how).
LastPass (ver.1.75) is a 9.46 MB download for Windows (2000/XP/Vista/7). It installs extensions for Internet Explorer 6+, Firefox 2.0+, Chrome 4+, and other browsers like Safari and Opera too. LastPass comes in two flavors – free and premium. Premium comes with support for different mobile operating systems along with other features. Here we are looking at the free version which suffices for your everyday password needs.
A Password Vault Protected By a Master Password
All you need to start working with LastPass is a browser and a LastPass free account. LastPass creates a vault for your passwords. You need to remember only the master password which you decide to access the LastPass vault. LastPass works via the browser extensions. Downloading the browser extensions on other computers allows you to access your password information on the LastPass account.
Log into Websites with a Single Click
You can setup your passwords manually, or LastPass can import log-in information from the browser’s default password manager. With LastPass you can log-in with a single click as LastPass auto-fills the information. For multiple accounts on the same domain (e.g. Gmail), a dropdown allows you to pick the right one.
Generate Secure Passwords with a Click
When you are prompted by a website to create a password, LastPass comes into the picture (if you are logged in) and gives you a ‘Generate Password’ tool to create a strong password with a click. The generated password is auto-filled into the create password box. The password is saved in LastPass’ vault. You can use advanced options to customize your password.
Create Multiple Identities for Specialized Passwords
You can create multiple identities and switch between them. Identities hold log-in passwords, secure notes, and form information. Identities help to set different views of your LastPass account depending on the function. For instance, you might create identities for ‘Home’ and ‘Work’ and group sites under them.
Easy To Use Automated Form Filler
You can easily auto-fill online forms by setting up profiles on your LastPass online account. You can add selective information and use multiple profiles.
Why only Passwords? Store ANY Sensitive Information
LastPass allows you to store other sensitive information like credit card information, bank details etc. For instance, you can associate this information with the bank website URL that’s saved in LastPass. The information can only be added through the tool button when you are on the bank site. Secure Notes is a feature to add any confidential information in text form. Secure Notes are not associated with any URLs on LastPass. You can categorize and group your secure notes.
Bulletproofed Against Phishing Attacks
The LastPass auto-fill (on the extension) is only active for genuine websites which you log into. Also, it allows you to log-in if the website has a URL in the Sites list (screenshot above). LastPass protects you while filling forms by putting its icon in the form fields only if you have an account with the site. If you do not see the LastPass icons in the form fields on one of your sites, desist from entering any information as it can be a phishing site.
Bulletproofed Against Keyloggers
It makes sense to protect yourself against keyloggers if you are on an unsecure public computer. LastPass counters the threat by allowing you to create and use one-time-passwords (OTPs) and using them to access your online LastPass account just once. Anyone who captures that password cannot use it again.
You can also login using the online keyboard to prevent keyloggers from getting to your LastPass password.
Synchronize Across All Your Browsers
LastPass is basically an online service with browser extensions as the local interface. As there are plug-ins available for all major browsers, you can stay synchronized across multiple PCs and browsers.
Online Backup and Restore for Peace of Mind
An encrypted backup copy of your data is stored in the cloud at your account at Lastpass.com. You can not only synchronize it across multiple browsers but also restore them easily if you change computers or reinstall on the old one.
These ten features are the highlights from this must-have app. As you dive into LastPass, you will find a few more nuggets which make your password management a breeze. We hope to tell you more about them. In the meantime, do share your experience too with the password manager that works just about everywhere.