App Review: LastPass
Review date: April 2, 2020
LastPass provides an easy way for you to create, maintain and use secure passwords.
We are now living in a brave new work-from-home world. Although necessary and convenient, working from home has inherent risks.
One of the most fundamental and important parts of minimizing your cyber risk is passwords. We all know that we should use strong, complex, and unique passwords for every website we visit and that we should change those passwords more often than we do. But, our memories can only take so much. So what ends up happening? We end up using the same passwords across multiple websites. The solution? Password managers like LastPass.
“LastPass is a freemium password manager that stores encrypted passwords online. The standard version of LastPass comes with a web interface, but also includes plugins for various web browsers and apps for many smartphones. It also includes support for bookmarklets” (Wikipedia).
I have been a LastPass user since 2013. (I’d like to think of myself as an early adopter; I started using LastPass long before password managers became the norm). I like that it’s easy-to-use across all my devices, utilizes two-factor authentication, and does its main job as a password manager very well. Another plus is that in the most recent versions, it seamlessly integrates with iOS, so I don’t have to open the LastPass app separately when I’m in Safari or Chrome on my phone to look up my password for a particular website.
The most common concern I hear from others is that they don’t feel safe using LastPass (or another password manager), because what if they get hacked? Then the hacker will have all my passwords! I understand where this is coming from, but the benefits outweigh the risk.
Beyond creating unique passwords, LastPass is set up in a way that is very secure. In its history, LastPass has only had one major security incident in 2015; in that case, their systems worked as designed. In 2019, there was an incident (most likely related to browser extensions) where certain users were put at risk, but this bug was quickly patched.
Around the time of the 2019 incident, ethical hacker John Opdenakker was quoted in Forbes, “Although password managers like any other software have flaws, the benefits of using one far outweigh the risks. It’s far more likely that your accounts will get compromised by attacks that exploit poor passwords, such as through credential reuse, than by attacks against password managers themselves.”
LastPass’ Privacy Score
Often the “terms of service” pages are long and difficult to read; often, we just click “OK” and hope for the best. Unfortunately, these days, that’s not the wisest choice. Luckily, the experts at PrivacyGrade.org have done the work for us by analyzing and assigning each app a “privacy grade.”
PrivacyGrade.org gave LastPass an “A” rating.
Check out LastPass on their website or in your device’s app store.
*At the time of writing.
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