Online password management made simple

Oct 10, 2011 | Blog, Tech tips

If you follow the basic rules of password creation, remembering passwords that you use online is a pain.

Basic rules are:

  1. Do not use the same password for multiple sites.
  2. Do not use something readily identifiable to you, such as pet’s name, spouse’s name, street name, birthday, etc.
  3. Do not use easy number combinations, like 1111.
  4. Do make the the password longer rather than shorter. The more the digits the better.
  5. Use a random combination of numbers and letters (and punctuation), and include lower and upper case letters.

I use a free software, LastPass, that both creates random passwords for me, and remembers them across the various computers I use. Here’s how to use it:

  1. Use Google’s Chrome browser
  2. Install the LastPass Chrome extension (how to install Google Chrome extensions) on the computers under your control. You will end up with a little LastPass icon to the right of the URL location bar.
  3. Use LastPass to generate and store passwords. The interface is very intuitive.
  4. Make sure to create a random password, consistent with the guidelines above, to enable your logging into LastPass. That password you’ll need to remember!
You can also use LastPass with Firefox and Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. I find Chrome to provide a more stable, secure browsing environment (though note that some web developers do not always produce sites that render well in each of these three mainstream browsers – shame on them!).

Paid upgrades allow smart phone use and additional functionality.


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