205. Password Managers – how to use LastPass

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Not a member? Join here. This episode covers:

  • Google Chrome uses Google Password Manager
  • How to get started with LastPass
  • Guest teacher: Jolyn Bowler teaches LastPass

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0:00 Start and first tip: You may be using a Password manager and not even know it. A brief overview of the Google Password manager. We had technical difficulties at this point.

1:07 Video playback has echo so we cut most of it out – see the source video here: https://youtu.be/AueSD9ceQzc Video 676

If you use Chrome and your username and passwords get filled in for you automatically, you’re probably using the built in Google Password manager.

Where are the passwords stored? Go to Passwords.Google.com – that is your password manager. You can see the list of all your accounts. You can click on any account and, after reverifying your master password (Google account password) you can see the actual password.

How did the passwords get there? It happens as you go to your various websites and fill in your current username and password. Google pops up and offers to save that for you. If you say yes, then the next time you visit the site your username and password are autofilled.

3:00 Hello

4:27 Intro to Password managers

7:04 7 benefits of a Password Manager

  1. Remember Only One Password: called your Master password. Then the password manager remembers all the rest.
  2. Generate Random Passwords: when you sign up for a new account, it can create a secure password for you. You don’t need to come up with on every time.
  3. Easily Change Your Passwords: with all your accounts and corresponding passwords in one place, it makes it relatively easy to change them.
  4. Group sites/passwords into folders: You can create folders for your various accounts/passwords. You can even share these folders with family members.
  5. Share Passwords Securely: let’s say you need help with your accounting system – you can share your account and password with a helper so they can log in as you but without actually seeing the password. Then you can revoke access at any time.
  6. Store More Than Just Passwords – passports, pin numbers, etc: you can create secure notes where you can write down anything that you need to be secret – like social security numbers, debit card pin numbers, passports, etc.
  7. Use the Same Password Manager across Multiple Devices: LastPass works on Mac, Windows, Android and iOS.

9:10 Getting started with LastPass

Go to LastPass.com and click the button to “Get LastPass Free” (there are premium options as well, but you can start out with Free) Once you have an account you will be prompted to install the browser extension. This means that LastPass will be working in the background all the time you are using your browser (Chrome, Edge, Safari, FireFox.) Once that’s done, just visit your sites and log in, LastPass will remember it for you next time. If you want to use it on mobile devices, install the LastPass app.

14:12 Intro our Guest teacher Jolyn Bowler

Jolyn Bowler is a technology teacher at Hilton Head Island Computer Club. We’ve known her for many years and know that she has been both using and teaching LastPass for many of those years. (you’ll experience a little skip at the beginning because we cut out the first minute where she had no sound 🙁

LastPass is cross-platform: Mac, Windows, iOS, Android and several web browser extensions – Chrome, Safari, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla FireFox. It synchronizes across all platforms. Just like you need your keys if you expect to drive your car anywhere, you need your passwords if you want to get anywhere on your computer. Somehow, you need to manage all those passwords. Once you have LastPass installed, you will see something like this on the web.

Click on the + to add a new item and notice how many different types of items that can be stored in LastPass. Passwords are just one of nearly 20 different types of entries you can securely store in LastPass.

Notice on the menu, you have options to view each different type of entry. The first one is Passwords. Jolyn shows us how she makes extensive use of the WiFi Passwords type of entry.

Security Dashboard – this is where LastPass analyzes your existing passwords and makes suggestions about ones that should be changed because they are weak, or old, or you’ve used them more than once.

Multifactor Authentication: this is where you can set up stronger security for your LastPass account. In addition to your master password, you can set it to require a second authentication like texting a code to your phone. This means, even if the bad guys get your password, they won’t be able to get into your account unless they also have your phone.

Sharing: LastPass allows you to share a password with any other LastPass user. You can allow them to use the password with or without the ability to actually see it. To share folders, you must have the Family plan account type for $4/mo. This includes 6 individual licenses, plus the sharing capability.

Advanced Options: Import – if you have a spreadsheet (for example) where you have been storing accounts and passwords, you can import them to LastPass. You can also export from LastPass if you want to switch to another service.

Generate Secure Password: If you are ever in need of a good, secure password – it’s just a click away. From the LastPass main menu, click Advanced then generate secure password. It’s also available from the icon for the browser extension. This tool lets you set your criteria – # of characters, whether or not you need special characters, and whether to avoid ambiguous characters – for example ls and 1s. This is a very useful tool.

Using and editing passwords: When you see an account and password in LastPass, you can “Launch” to go to the site and automatically log in for you. If you need to change anything about the account and password, you click the wrench tool to open the form and make any changes you want.

Secure Notes: To add a secure note, click the + in the lower right and select Secure Notes. You can enter anything in here. You can also add attachments. So, for example you can make a secure note for your important property documents, then upload the .pdf documents of the actual deeds.

Offline: If you install the Windows (or Mac) app for LastPass, you will have offline access to all your items.

45:41 Review questions