The Heartbleed online security flaw has received all kinds of attention. There was a defect in the Internet security protocol OpenSSL. Information exchanged on sites protected by OpenSSL may not have been secure.
There’s little you can do about fixing the underlying problem unless you happen to administer a server (and hopefully you don’t).
However, the focus on security gives me a chance to advocate for better password practices.
An Easy Way to Increase Your Password Security
I’m using LastPass to create and store my passwords. I’ve used a bunch of different password managers, and I keep coming back to LastPass. It uses a freemium payment model so you can try it and decide whether you need the features that require payment.
LastPass made it easier for me to address the Heartbleed issue. It alerted me to the problem, it told me which of my 650 passwords needed changing, and it told me when to wait on changing passwords until the servers were patched.
LastPass does many other things as well.
- It stores your passwords.
- It makes it easy to share passwords within the firm (even without showing the passwords to others).
- It fills the passwords in on websites as well as on the phone.
- It has great two-factor authentication features.
- It does an automated security check to alert you to issues.
LastPass will cure you of your bad password habits. It helps you remember long, complicated passwords with many letters, numbers, and symbols. It helps you use a different password for every site. It helps you change your passwords every few weeks with a simple click or two.
At its core, when all is going smoothly, LastPass operates in the background. It fills in your passwords, your credit card numbers, and your mailing address when you’re placing online orders or accessing sites. It just works.
When disaster strikes, it really steps up. It makes it easy for you to change passwords and store them. It helps you know what you need to do and when you need to do it. LastPass is a simple, sensible, inexpensive solution to a complicated and difficult problem.
If you’re not already using LastPass or one of its competitors, it’s time to make it part of your life.