Thursday, June 27, 2013


“I have seen on the TV news about "1password" and "dashlane" among others. Are they a valuable tool or a bad app?”-- George Pinkston

Thanks for your question! I’m not familiar with the two applications you mentioned but reviews from various sources rate them as excellent. However, I found a 100% free solution years ago that I adopted and use to this day.

I conduct a fantastic amount of business on my computer. Years ago, every time I’d visit a website to purchase something or fill out some random form, I’d laboriously enter my first name, last name, street address, credit card and blah blah blah. I have 50 or so sources for various parts and stock items I purchase for my business. Remembering the passwords for each of those websites used to be a chore. Then I finally came across LastPass from

LastPass (and the two you mentioned) are programs that install as an “extension” in your prefered internet browser such as Internet Explorer, Firefox or (my top choice) Chrome. You then enter all your personal information into LastPass such as name, address, various credit card numbers, your bank account information and so on. Once you complete the process, you protect it all with a STRONG password. The next time you sign in to a website, LastPass will automatically enter your username and passwords and fill out various forms for you, including shipping address and credit card information. LastPass also makes versions for the Macintosh, iPhone, iPad or Android device. In short, your LastPass password is the “last password” you will ever need to remember.

Entering all that very personal information is a bit scary to some people. The software itself is very secure  but
The fastest supercomputer today could theoretically crack a AES password in a trillion years.
the weakest link will always be the nut behind the keyboard. Your data is encrypted using a strategy called 256-bit AES which is, for all intents and purposes, impossible to break. The only possible way anyone could access your personal stuff is by knowing the master password. If you ever forget your LastPass password, you are simply out of luck. There is no way to retrieve it.

Speaking of passwords, I highly recommend you step-up your security by using different strong passwords for each secure website you log in to regularly. A very simple strategy for a very secure password is to take a sentence such as “Roll Tide Roll! We’re Number One!” Translate that sentence to “rTr!w#1.” (NOTE: I see variations of this exact password on many client computers so do not use this one). Using a different password for each website is way too hard to remember so why not simply add the first 1, 2 or 3 letters of the website to the website password? Your password will now be “amarTrw#1!” and your Facebook password will become “facrTr!w#1.” Then you can let LastPass remember all those for you but still be able to recall individual passwords if necessary.

1 comment:

sager said...

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