Recommended as one of the top security add-on by Mozilla foundation, LastPass has not failed to meet and exceed expectations. LastPass has excelled at being an efficient Password manager while maintaining high levels of Security standards. So what is LastPass?
LastPass is a Online Password Management and form filling add-on for Firefox. Made specially for Firefox, it supports Internet explorer, for which it has an add-on as well. Other browsers like Google Chrome, Opera and Safari are supported via Bookmarklets. It even works on Mobile browsers like Opera Mini and iPhone. Lets look at some of LastPass’ cool features.
Is LastPass safe?
Besides being officially recommended and tested by Mozilla, the developers of Firefox, LastPass is safe because it does local encryption, and none of your actual passwords reach their servers. In their own words:
Why is LastPass Safe?
1. All sensitive data is encrypted locally
All encryption/decryption occurs on your computer, not on our servers. This means that your sensitive data does not travel over the Internet and it never touches our servers, only the encrypted data does.
Features of LastPass as a Password Manager:
Nowadays it has become necessary for internet users to use a password manager as almost everyone has accounts on many email and social media websites. Not only that but with every forum or new online service one signs up for more accounts are created. Its not a good idea to have same usernames, or at least same passwords across all services you use, because if any one service is compromised, other accounts can easily be accessed. The option is to create different passwords each time, but its difficult to remember which password was used for which service. Here the password managers come into play. The Firefox default password manager can store these passwords but it only stores it on your local machine. What if you are on a different computer and need to access the service?
LastPass is an excellent alternative to the Firefox default Password manager. The only protection Firefox Password Manager provides is the master password and the data stored is not encrypted. If you don’t use the master password the stored passwords can be easily viewed. In LastPass, the passwords are saved on your LastPass account online which can be accessed from any computer, once you login to LastPass from that computer. It generates, random and strong passwords for you when you sign up for a service and remembers them. The data is encrypted on your hard drive before its sent to LastPass. Your Master Password is not stored anywhere on LastPass, since you are the only one who knows it, you are the only one who can access it.
Importing and Exporting data in LastPass:
If you already use any other Password Manager, LastPass lets you import data from a number of password managers like Firefox’s own password manager, Internet Explorer, RoboForm, KeePass to name a few. It also has an option to export your passwords back to Firefox, or in a CSV file, which can be imported into mostly any password manager. Since all your data is synchronized with your LastPass account online, you have a back up of all your passwords at a remote locations. And unlike in some other similar services, LastPass doesn’t have a limit on the number of websites which you can store in your account.
Data Backup and Sharing Feature:
At times if you need to share a password with a friend or family member LastPass lets you do so Securely.
Identities and Automatic Form Filling:
LastPass lets you have multiple Identities – like an identity for office related accounts or if you are a blogger – a blogger identity where only sites and services relevant to blogging show up. For e.g.: In the office identity you may have office exchange mail access passwords, but in the blogger identity you may have passwords for all your social media websites. This way its easier to organize your account. The automatic form filler is handy when you have to fill-in personal details in online forms. Helps save us a lot of typing time.
LastPass Password vault:
Your account on LastPass is called the Password vault, which has all of your Passwords. You can create groups of sites like Social Media sites, Email, Mobile services etc. This way once you have a large number of sites you can quickly scroll to the site you want to log into, click on it and LastPass would take you the login page and automatically fill in the username and password. There is also a auto login feature, which can be enabled on site by site basis. If you select auto login for a site, when you click on that site in the LassPass menu, it would automatically log you into the service, you wont even need to click login or sign in.
LastPass Settings And Controls:
LastPass provides you with numerous options to customize it according to your needs. You can set the security level to High, Normal or custom. It has a De-Duplicator, that removes duplicate sites and passwords automatically to avoid cluttering of the vault. The Never URLs is an option where you can specify certain websites for which you never want LastPass to remember passwords like your banking account, whose passwords you have committed to memory.
LastPass provides a couple of options for installation. It can installed as a add-on in Firefox and Internet explorer one at a time, if you need it just in one browser. If you need to install it in both browsers simultaneously, you can download the installer here.
LastPass BookMarklets for Google Chrome and Opera:
If you use Google Chrome or Opera, you need to use bookmarklets to use LastPass features. To get the bookmarklets you need to sign into your LastPass account. They are located in the Left navigation menu.
LastPass has many other features, but I have covered some of the most important ones. I am sure, you would be willing to use LastPass and Check out its features. Give it a shot, you wont be disappointed.
Any important features I missed out on? Let me know in comments. Which according to you is LastPass’ best feature?