Do you struggle remembering your passwords or use the same password over and over to save time? Password managers like LastPass take the strain off your shoulders by remembering all your passwords for you. This helps you keep your user information safe. A typical password manager is a cloud-based service that works across all your devices. How does it work? The easiest way to explain the inner workings of a password manager is to show you one in action.
LastPass in Action
LastPass is my password manager of choice. To use it, head over to LastPass and click on Get LastPass Free. You'll be asked to add the LastPass extension to your browser and then create an account. The extension installs a small red square with three dots in the middle in your browser. During the account set up, you'll be asked to create a master password. This password is the key to your security so make it good– it's the last password you'll ever need to remember. Once you've enabled the browser extension and set up your account, LastPass is ready to start managing your passwords.
The LastPass Desktop Extension
How does the extension actually work? When you first start using your LastPass account, sign into your accounts as normal. At this point, LastPass will ask if you want it to remember your information. You can add the user info to your LastPass vault, assign it to a specific folder or tell LastPass that you don't want this particular information saved. When you want to log in again, you'll see the extension symbol (the square with the three dots) nestled in the right-hand side of the log-in box. Click on it and LastPass will autofill the necessary info. The extension also gives you shortcut access to key sections of your account like your vault, sites, and secure notes. You can add new secure notes and access account information without leaving the web page you are on. When you create a new user account for a specific site, you can also ask LastPass to generate a secure password for you. Just click on the three dots and select Generate password. You can choose the length, make the password easy to read, add uppercase or lowercase letters, numbers and special characters.
Inside the LastPass vault
All your passwords and login information are stored in the vault. LastPass naturally sorts the info into folders based on site type. You can also create your own folder structures for easy access.
Sharing Your Passwords and the Big Uncomfortable Question
Sometimes you need to share access to an account with a team member or your family. LastPass lets you do that without actually sharing the sensitive information. To give someone account access, head over to your vault and select the account you'd like to share. Click on the sharing button and put in the email of the person you'd like to share the account with. The only caveat is that they need a LastPass account to access the info. LastPass will then send the user a link that lets them add your account info to their LastPass account. This nifty feature allows you to give people access to specific accounts without swapping passwords– and, you can revoke access at any time! Speaking of access, LastPass has one last feature I'd like to show you. In the left-hand side menu of your dashboard, you'll find a lifebelt icon with Emergency Access written next to it. Setting up emergency access to your LastPass account is probably the best thing you can do for your family. This gives an authorized user access to your LastPass account and all your info in case something happens to you. To set this up, click on Emergency Access and follow the instructions. And if you are ready to do more to protect your digital legacy, we created a free course to help, Your Online Legacy: Social Media After You Die. It will walk you through things you can do to make things easier on your friends or family.
Stop wasting time trying to remember passwords
Use LastPass– or a password manager of your choice– to save yourself time and improve your online security. Until next time,
Have fun storming the castle!
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