Genealogists tend to accrue a tall stack of regularly visited websites that require usernames and passwords. If we are at all security conscious, we use different credentials for each site and our passwords are difficult to recreate.
How do we keep track of all of them? Write them down on Post-it notes to adorn our monitors? Jot them down on a pad of paper that becomes worn, stained and available for kids to mistakenly use for their crayon art?
Hopefully, we all have a secure method to keep track of our credentials. Hopefully, our credentials have substantial passwords. Hopefully, we haven’t fallen into the trap of using the same credentials over and over and over and have exposed ourselves to serious grief via hackers.
I used to keep my credentials in encrypted databases in KeePass, Whisper and other applications of that nature and they worked great, but eventually I couldn’t remember my ever-increasingly difficult passwords, nor the persona that I used to access each site.
What to do?
I heard Steve Gibson of Gibson Research talk about LastPass. I had looked at it number of times before hearing Steve’s comments but had always been leery of a utility that would contain all of my data and store a copy of it on the net. That sounded like planned I.D. suicide
“Not so”, said Steve. “I use it myself!” If there is anyone out there that whose recommendation I trust, it is Steve Gibson, security guru extraordinaire.
Wow! Was that a good choice. .
LastPass now knows the credentials to all of the sites I visit most often. It is a plugin to all of the browsers I use. I can access my online LastPass account from any computer with Internet connection via a web site login if I’m not using one of my own machines..
My credentials are securely encrypted in LastPass. All I have to remember is the single grievously difficult password that I created to access LastPass. The rest of the login process to my accounts is automatically populated. Bada Bing – Bada Boom.
Of course, any weak credentials that I use to access those sites are still in place. LastPass doesn’t fix that problem, although you can use it to generate very secure passwords to replace your current milk toast softies. In fact, if you are smart, you’ll do exactly that – immediately and get rid of those “my birth day plus Jacks birth year, plus cake or minnie”, etc., let alone, heaven forbid, something like “123456” or “password”, etc.
Make your new passwords tough – full of upper and lower case letters, liberally salted using the characters above your number keys and long in length. Very long.
What do your care? LastPass is going to remember them, not your already saturated mind – and you’ll have a MUCH more secure set of login credentials.
Be sure to remember your LastPass password though. If you loose it, it isn’t coming back. It is secure remember? Your freed-up brain cycles can remember one long, wild password.
Highly Recommended. 5 Stars and FREE – although they offer a terrific Premium package that you’ll want to review.