Here's a fact about our increasingly connected lives. As we conduct more of our affairs online - social media, banking, shopping, entertainment, communications, work - we are juggling and managing multiple accounts more than ever.
Think of all the services sites you constantly log in to every day. Now, imagine all the email addresses, usernames, and passwords you use to access them. With the surging number of data breaches on big companies that seem to happen every day, having unique and strong passwords across multiple services is more critical than ever.
If you're using proper password hygiene, you probably have scores of them for every service and site!
But how could you possibly keep track of all of your strong passwords securely and reliably? It's even more complicated if you manage or share accounts with other members of your family. Now, that can be extremely confusing!
To help you sort out your password woes and effectively solve them, a password manager is a must. But how do you go about setting one up, though?
What's a password manager?
A password manager is a program that can store and manage your passwords for each app, service, and site that you use. It's like a locked safe (or a vault) for all your credentials, tightly secured with your own personal key.
Password managers can automatically create complex and unique passwords for you and even identify and eliminate the weaker ones that you use. Good password managers will also securely store your data on the cloud so you could sync your credentials across multiple gadgets like your computer, smartphone, and tablet.
Now that you have an understanding of what a password manager is and why it's an essential tool in today's tech-driven world, I'll tell you about one of the best password managers you can use right now.
Our sponsor LastPass is one of the most popular password managers out there. It's not hard to see why - it's one the best and easiest to use.
With LastPass, you can easily create, manage and save complex and unique passwords for multiple sites and services then access them across multiple browsers and devices.
You can even share and manage passwords for your family members and save secure notes in the cloud. You can also save auto-fill information (names, address, phone, etc.), credit cards and even save secure documents for later access.
For your password management needs, LastPass can be the only program you'll ever need.
How to get started with LastPass
1. Install the LastPass browser extension
First things first. Create a LastPass account by signing up here. You can also go to LastPass.com to install your chosen browser's extension, then follow the instructions to set up your LastPass account. Note: You will need a valid email address for this.
2. Create a strong LastPass master password
Next, choose a very strong master password for your LastPass account. Don't worry, LastPass has strict requirements and great advice on how to create a strong master password.
Making your LastPass account master password as secure as possible is important since this will act as your personal key for your password vault.
3. Start adding sites and services to your LastPass vault
Once your LastPass account is created, you can finally explore your LastPass Vault and add the sites and services you want to manage. LastPass will initially give you an option to save your credentials for four of the most popular services on the web - Google, Facebook, Amazon, and Netflix.
After that, you easily add other sites and services and let LastPass create unique and complex passwords for each. You can also save auto-fill information (names, address, phone, etc.), credit cards and even save secure documents for later access.
4. Download the LastPass mobile app
All your LastPass information is securely saved in the cloud and it can be synced across all your gadgets including your smartphone and tablet, wherever you are. No matter how complex or unique your passwords are, you can always take them with you with the LastPass mobile apps, even on a LastPass free account.
To cover every gadget out there, the LastPass app is available for iOS, Android and Windows phones.
5. Get LastPass Premium for more features
LastPass Free is a good individual password manager but amazingly, it gets better with a LastPass Premium account.
With a LastPass Premium account, you can share as many passwords or items as you’d like with others, you get advanced two-factor authentication options, emergency contact access and priority customer support. You can also access LastPass from within applications, use desktop fingerprint authentications and 1GB worth of encrypted cloud storage.
If you're serious about password management, then LastPass Premium is totally worth it.
Learn more about how LastPass can help you at home and at a work. Click here to get a free LastPass Premium 30-day trial!