When you read the word ‘Password Manager’, the first thought that comes to your mind is, “Is it secure? Can my passwords be stolen?” And if its an online Password Manager, people are worried even more. Many users feel uncomfortable at having an online database of their passwords, even I felt the same way before signing up for LastPass.
But if I hadn’t signed up for a LastPass account, I am pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to remember all the passwords and access them on different computers. Its like having a backup of your passwords wherever you go.
Let me explain some of the features that will help you decide why LastPass is safe to use:
Firstly, you need to sign up for a free LastPass account with your email id and a Master Password.
LastPass encrypts your passwords on your computer, it does not send any unencrypted information to their servers. Your password database cannot be accessed by anyone without your email id and master password. In other words, the Master Password is the key to your password database. Do not write it down where someone can find it.
1. Generate Secure Password:
One of the best features of LastPass, you can generate unique and strong passwords with just a click of the mouse. You can specify the password length and variations like special characters, Alpha-numerical password, etc
2. Form Filling:
You can use LastPass to fill up forms, yes filling up forms when you have to sign-up for a service can be boring. This feature is a real saviour. You can add different profiles with Form related information like Name, address, phone number, etc. If you want you can also add your Bank or Credit Card related information to the Profile. Might be useful for those who prefer Online shopping.
3. Secure notes:
You can add notes which you can access from any computer, with your LastPass account of course. You can protect the notes by adding the “Password re-prompt” option. Its helpful incase you walk away from your computer and someone stumbles onto your note. 😛
4. Security Check:
Analyses all your passwords and tells you the strength of each password and how many duplicate passwords you have. If you find your password is weak, you can click on “Visit site” to go the appropriate webpage and login to it and change the password. I recommend using the “Generate Secure Password” option for changing the password.
5. Backup and Restore:
You can backup your database by exporting it to your computer, I do this incase I accidentally delete a password or in case of errors.
There are three formats to choose from, CSV format, Firefox (or Chrome) or an encrypted XML file. You can use either one of these and import it back to your LastPass account. You will have to provide your Master Password for the actions to take effect.
You can also import your password database from other password managers like Roboform or Keepass or Sticky Password. There is a big list of the supported Password Managers, I am just listing a few.
6. Google Authenticator:
If you are a smart phone user, you can add some additional security to your LastPass account by using the Google Authenticator App to prevent others from using(read hacking) your LastPass account.
Avinash has already written a post about this feature, you can read it here.
You can manage your password database using the LastPass Vault. It comes with a search box, with which you can quickly find a particular account you wish to modify. Just click on the LastPass icon in your browser and select ‘My LastPass Vault”.
Certain features of LastPass (like Virtual Keyboard,) can only be accessed via their website, you can find the details at http://helpdesk.lastpass.com/
There is also a Standalone app forLastPass which installs the addon for Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome. You can get it from: https://lastpass.com/misc_download.php . Personally I prefer installing the addons through the browser. The stand alone app runs as a background service on your Computer,Â I don’t think you will need this 😉
Android apps: (Premium only)
1. LastPass for Android:
This app is a combination of a Password Manager + Buit-in web browser. While this is an advantage, some users would like to use it on a browser of their choice. I myself prefer the Stock browser as it is the fastest. It comes with it’s own On-screen Keyboard, but you can use any keyboard of your choice. Not much to explain here, pretty straight forward, just login with you Email id and Master Password. In addition to your password database, it also has options for auto-fill and can generate secure passwords
2. LastPass for Dolphin HD
It is an addon for the popular Android browser Dolphin. As the name suggests, you need the Dolhpin HD browser to use it.Â Open the browser,and swipe from right to left, you will see the LastPass icon. Click on it and login with your Email and Master Password.Â The rest of the features are similar to the LastPass app for Android, except it doesn’t come with the LastPass Keyboard.
And finally here is a comparison chart for LastPass free vs Premium: https://lastpass.com/features_compare.php. As you can see from the chart, the Premium Version is useful for Smart Phone users or those with a Yubikey/USB drive.
1. Cross platform/browser support.
2. One click login and form filling.
3. Premium version is inexpensive at 1$ a month.
4. The free version is a real time saver. One of my favorite addons for Firefox.
5. LastPass actually enhances your security by providing secure passwords and analysing weak or duplicate passwords.
The PC version is perfect. No complaints there.
1. The Android app is not browser independent, It runs only with Dolphin browser and its own built in browser. I think it should have an option to work in the background like Keepass (Copy username/password and auto-clear the clipboard after a defined time).
2. I feel they could have a free lite version with limited features or an ad-supported version, just to attract more users to buy it, but since it is already inexpensive, this is unlikely to happen. Same goes for their Xmarks app as well.
They do have a 14 day trial version for both apps. So you can give it a try if you are interested.
Note: I don’t have an iphone or a Windows Phone, so I couldn’t test the LastPass App on these devices.
Windows 7 32 Bit Home Premium
LastPass addon for Firefox: 1.80.0
(Google Authenticator Enabled)
LG Optimus One (Cyanogenmod 7.1)
Dolphin Browser HD 7.1.0
LastPass Premium for DolphinÂ 1.75.1
LastPass Premium 1.75.1
Thanks to Lastpass, we are giving away 10 x 1 year LastPass Premium accounts for readers of Avinashtech. Just follow the simple rules below to enter in this draw.
- Subscribe to Avinashtech by entering your email address in the subscribe box on right sidebar of the blog or by clicking this link. Do remember to verify your email address when you get the verification email from Feedburner.
- Like the Facebook Fan Page of Avinashtech (If you don’t have a Facebook account you can skip this).
- Leave a comment below telling us why you need it. (Avoid using twitter, Facebook login to comment as I wont be able to get your email address to send you a email in case you win).
- Share this on Twitter, Facebook. (If you have an account there).