Avoid getting hacked, use a program to remember secure passwords

By February 26th in Blog

Everybody knows they should use secure passwords, but far too many people are guilty of using their pets’ or children’s names as passwords instead of strong passwords.  The problem is it’s difficult to remember a combination of upper and lower case letters, symbols, and non-dictionary words.  Enter the password manager.

Password Managers

These programs securely store your login information for every site you use.  You simply have to remember one password to unlock the password manager, then it does the rest.  It will recognize when you are creating a new account and offer to randomly generate secure passwords.  Even more convenient, it will automatically fill in your mailing and billing information, your credit card information, and almost anything else you can think of to make checking out a breeze.

Until recently, we’ve recommended Roboform as our favorite password manager.  However they recently switched their pricing to a subscription model.  In the past once you purchased the software, you owned it and got free upgrades.  Now they are charging $20/year.  In response we have surveyed the current password manager market and have a different recommendation.


LastPass offers all of the features above, integrates seamlessly with our favorite browsers like Chrome and Firefox.  It also offers the ability to sync with your mobile device so you can login to your favorite webpage from you iPhone, Android, or even Palm device!  All password information is securely encrypted, then synced across the network.  So if you update your Facebook password from your work computer, LastPass detects this, saves the changes, and when you get home your computer will login with the new password automatically.

Convenience is one great reason to use a password manager, but we are fans of them for two other very important reasons.  First, we encourage users to take advantage of the password generation feature, to ensure you are using strong passwords.  If LastPass is remembering your password for you, and does so in a synchronized, mobile way, we never need to choose easy to remember passwords.  Secondly, LastPass can help prevent phishing scams.


Phishing scams occur when somebody tries to fool you into giving away your password.  This is often done by sending you an email that claims to be from a place like Facebook.  It alerts you to a new waiting message, and when you click on the link in the email, it takes you to a site that looks like Facebook, but really isn’t.  When you enter your login information on this site, you’ve given away your information to the phishers, who then login to your account, free to do as they please.  LastPass scans the website address and will not enter your login info if it doesn’t match the official address correctly, foiling any phishing scams.

Best of all, LastPass is free, and their Premium version is only $1/month.  The premium version gives you mobile access and some extra security features, but their free version is plenty for most people.  Download it now and start freeing up your brain for more important things than all those passwords!

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