David Papp Blog

LastPass – your personal password vault


We are plagued by the necessity to have a multitude of passwords. Some sites have basic complexity requirements and others do not. Some require you to change your password on a regular basis. Keeping track of all these passwords can be a nightmare. LastPass is a personal password vault that helps make your web browsing easier and more secure.

LastPass supports a wide variety of platforms (desktop and mobile):

  • Windows
  • Mac
  • Linux
  • Mobile (iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Windows)

It has great bonus features such as automatically filling in forms, one click logins, synchronizing your secure information across multiple browsers you may use, and also stores confidential text.

44 thoughts on “LastPass – your personal password vault”

  1. I’ve been using LastPass for well over a year, and I can’t imagine ever being on the web without it. The auto fill-in feature is a huge time saver when I’m just getting started in the morning and logging into all of my various accounts.

    However I will say that I only occasionally use the built-in password generator. I prefer to use StrongPasswordGenerator.com because the passwords it delivers are serious business. Long and quite ugly, to say the least. 🙂

    • http://xkcd.com/936/

      Check that comic out for a laugh as well as some relevant insights on what really constitutes a strong password. I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve used this very comic to convince my department to change their password policies.

      • That’s funny -and- informative at the same time. I think my cousin uses something similar although it’s all of her pets’ names. I feel like such a beginner thinking the first one was harder to crack.

      • Thanks for sharing this comic. I see what you mean. It’s insightful as well as humorous. How ironic that our complex, long, impossible-to-remember passwords are easier to crack than a random set of words. That’s just amazing. It makes me rethink how I approach passwords.

      • I agree, pass-sentences are more useful than passwords in terms of security. It’s easier to remember, can muddle basic security hacks, and not easily breakable through brute force methods. I’m not sure how long this advantage would last though, but for now, pass-sentences trumps passwords in usefulness.

  2. Thanks. I’m intending to switch back to FireFox these days and I’m planning to remove my saved passwords from Chrome but I need a more robust and secure way of saving my password. I think if I start doing it bit by bit, collecting my password somewhere more secure won’t be such a gargantuan task.

    • Actually, once you install the LastPass extension it can import your passwords directly from Chrome. So no need to do anything manually. Another great reason to make the switch.

      • Wow, very nice, LastPass! That should make things a whole lot easier. I just need a plugin for getting my Google bookmarks from Chrome and there shouldn’t be much problems on switching.

          • Hrm, last I checked, I wasn’t able to, or has the option eluded me? Thanks for reminding me about importing bookmarks. I think I knew that before, it’s just all the automated ways of transferring stuff has spoiled me.

      • Oooh! That’s a pretty neat feature!

        Since I am always on and off using Chrome and Firefox, it saving the passwords in cloud could come in really handy. Great feature really.

  3. This is an excellent resource. Thank you so much. This is the first that I have heard about LastPass. What a great time saver and organizer. I’m impressed. I’m also very happy to see that there’s a free version. For password management, I used to use RoboForm, but that was years ago. I think I like this one even better. The synchronization feature, is especially appealing.

    This is timely, as lately, I’ve been working on getting stronger passwords for all of my various accounts, and it’s a challenge. This will come in quite handy and it will save my memory!

  4. Thank you for the article. I have been typing in my passwords manually for a lot of web sites. I’ll have to give last pass a chance. I am encouraged by the responses regarding the ease of use of last pass. It sounds like it is a nice time saver.

  5. I don’t understand what is the difference to the normal browser features. They let you have one click logins and all the other things too. Would be nice if you could be more specific here.

    • The primary difference is that this is encrypted, while the browser’s stored passwords are plaintext (meaning they’re very easily found).

      • Ah, ok, thanks for the information, I may have overlooked that in the article. That is of course quite an improvement.

  6. If LastPass also autofills passwords, be careful that the browser doesn’t save that info. Username and password information in browsers is held in plaintext, and can be accessed easily by just looking within the settings and revealing. This seems to be a major security flaw across all popular browsers… so watch out for that.

    • Thanks for the warning. Can’t really be too careful. It would be useless if Chromium or Firefox still gets the info that we’re saving using something else.

    • Yes, that is rather surprising that after all these years that developers have not put in that kind of encryption capability in browsers. Or are there any such browsers that have that capability yet? In this day and age that would be such a much-needed feature.

      But we do have such solutions as LastPass, fortunately.

  7. When it comes to storing passwords, I’ve started compiling them in an Exel spreadsheet under an inconspicuous name – a trick I’ve borrowed off my flatmate. However, this looks like a great alternative, especially since it’s available on mobile devices. I can’t take my spreadsheet with me on my phone, but I could take this. It’s definitely something I’ll be looking further into – thank you!

    • I remember a time when people were storing their safe combinations using the phone directory or Rolodex. They usually use a familiar name like Mr. Smith, but I hear others stored their combinations under the names Mr. and Mrs. Safe. Of course, it was easily cracked by robbers — it’s quite similar to storing security details under a file named passwords.txt. Needless to say, this practice didn’t last long.

    • That sounds like another useful alternative, cefmac! Thanks for providing that tip, and I’m sure that making a random name that’s non-sequential to what the file is storing helps a lot. Of course, as long as the person making the file knows what it is, they can easily have their passwords organized and easy to use quickly. Kudos to your flatmate for coming up with a brilliant idea like that!

  8. Password ‘vaults’ like LastPass are a life-saver.

    There are way too many people using the same password everywhere, which is very dangerous – if, for example, a website you frequently log in to gets compromised, your password may end up leaking; in such cases, you’d need to change your password on every website you have an account on: quite a hassle!

    Not to mention, randomly generated passwords are much safer. They’re usually not vulnerable to dictionary attacks and the like.

  9. This should also prove useful for my mother. She’s a bit scattered with PC stuff and this will be a great help for her especially when we live far from each other and I can’t help her all the time in figuring out the last password she used for her browser game. Lol.

  10. This sounds like a truly useful service. Personally, I’ve always been careful to uncheck the “remember password” box on services because I’m unsure where and just how safely that information is stored. Using a utility like this could provide me with the level of convenience and security that I’ve been craving. Thank you for LastPass!

  11. I can relate to that because I myself have signed up with many sites and I find it risky to use the same password on all of these sites so I think it would be wonderful to have a program to store all these passwords. I actually thought of tying all my passwords in a Microsoft word document but this will be easy access for hackers. So this vault thing is pretty awesome I am already on this website https://lastpass.com/ and I will check it out some more, thanks David for the information.

  12. This sounds like an extremely useful tool and I am sure to try it out in the near future. I’ve also been a bit cautious with this type of tool as after all it’s storing your passwords which are very important but after looking at the comments I hear lots of good things about it so I maybe I can give it a go. I know how frustrating it can be to have to remember all your passwords. I can’t believe the number of times I’ve had to use a password reset tool. I have one question which I’d like to be answered, how does LastPass secure your passwords?

  13. Although I believe this kind of software is a nice idea for those who can’t remember their passwords, I will never be putting it to use myself. I fully believe that the only real safe place to store a password is in your head. I use all kinds of passwords and 9/10 of those are remembered in my head. When I can’t remember one, I just retrieve it and re-set it.

    I know that most people are not able to remember such a variety of information, especially if they use a different password for every login they have.

    Saying this, I have been strongly considering using a password generator soon that gives passwords in the length of 10-15 characters; so I may well need to put my faith in a piece of software like this soon.

    • I really thought being able to make and remember passwords in my mind would be enough but I just have so many accounts in the internet. Some aren’t really too important to my personal safety but those are still important to me. That’s the main reason why I’m going to use LastPass.

  14. This is a very practical utility. As you claim, we are obliged to use passwords for different aspects of our daily lives. In fact, in the online world, the password is our key input to various functions and in many cases is the only method of security we have to protect our privacy.

    Another time I tried a utility similar to the one you recommend, but perhaps this option is more simple and effective. Thanks for the recommendation. ^_^

    PS: Beyond that english is not my native language, your site is easily accessible and you have the ability to communicate technical issues in a simple way, that’s a big plus.

  15. LastPass is indeed very useful. However, I am having problems when it comes to my email accounts. I am maintaining 5 email accounts in gmail and I have learned that I can’t use auto login otherwise it will always just log into one of them. I have also learned that since YouTube is owned by Google, I also can’t auto login there because it follows whatever account is logged into gmail. Despite this small problem, its great! It isn’t wise to use the same password for all your accounts so LastPass really helps in making sure I can always get into my accounts.

  16. I already heard about this in recent times but didn’t actually pay any attention towards it. Now after going through all the feedback here I regret how I missed it. This in turn saves us time while keeping us safe and is an easy and secure password management tool. Everyday our minds struggle to keep track of an increasingly complex variety of online accounts passwords. It’s auto-fill-in feature as mentioned above enables us to log in to all our accounts easily without any struggle, to remember its password. I think it also allows us to effortlessly save, organize and access our log in data.

  17. Nice, but do you still need to manually change the passwords which is what I would forget to do or forget the password I need to access the password vault. I have seen a lot of phones have password vaults but they do not sync with your browsers which is nice about this program.

  18. It’s interesting that LastPass stores confidential text and also synchronizes my information across multiple browsers. I like to use Chrome, Mozilla and sometimes also Opera so this is a good fit for me.

    Thank for the share!

    @Nonsiccus – that comic was hilarious :))

  19. To be honest, I’d rather depend on my memory or even write down my passwords using pen and paper. Allowing all your passwords to be saved and automated by a program is risky business if you ask me. I mean what if all is hacked and becomes available to someone with bad intentions? While LastPass may provide a whole lot of convenience, you might also want to think about potential consequences.

    • Those are some valid statements you’ve made, TPhoenix! I used LastPass for Firefox in the past when I did a lot of blogging, and wanted to keep track of the ping websites I used once in a while. It helped a lot with clearing out confusion with Firefox caches, but I realized most of my problems was because I had limited memory.

      I personally prefer the Master Security password feature Firefox has, that way, I just remember one password for one browser. And with the antivirus program I have, there’s no way anyone is going to dive into knowing the password. Offering personal information, even to a reliable 3rd party, seems risky, especially if staff changes and they decide to be corrupt.

  20. Lastpass is a great extension and I could not live without it. I use it to sync logins between browsers on the computer, my tablet, and my cell phone. I never have a moment where I don’t remember a password or login, because it’s all secure in my Lastpass vault. It’s a great service and I don’t know how I lived without it. The Premium account is also well worth it if you often need passwords on your tablet or smartphone, as it can sync with these as well.

  21. I have gotten as far as downloading Last Pass on my computer, then I started doing other things. It’s good to actually see positive reviews though. This should get me kickstarted into actually implementing it. Thank you for the information.

  22. I use LastPass on websites I know that I will rarely or occasionally log on to. I am a bit of a skeptic on many thing, so I choose not to save my more important information away from LastPass. It has definitely helped me on many occasions and I now never have to go through a password reset process again.

  23. I am becoming lost with the amount of passwords I now have. I did have a similar program before, but I became concerned that if a vault become compromised I would lose everything in one swoop. I am just not sure what to do.

  24. I have never used LastPass but it seems like it is very useful. I have a habit changing my password on everything every few weeks to make sure everything is safe. I might have to use this program.

  25. I think I might give this a try. I used to keep my passwords on a text file somewhere in my hard drive and it’s really tedious to have to pull the file in and out every time I forget a password for a site that I just logged into.

  26. I am going to start using this. I change my passwords often and get them mixed up too easily. I try to write them down but then I lose track of that too. This is an effective method it seems. I love programs that solve problems.

  27. Apps like these really make life easy, it’s very much appreciated amog it’s users and it’s been getting good reviews. But the authenticity and credibility of such applications is what bugs me the most. You’re never too sure who might end up accessign all your passwords stored at one place. But then again, it could be just simple paranoia

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