We've all done it – tried to log in to an online account and completely forgotten what our password is. Then you have to go through the whole rigmarole of resetting it, logging in to your email and following the links to activate the new one. Or maybe you are someone who makes sure all your accounts have exactly the same password, with a few numbers here and there when necessary? Easier to remember, but not entirely hack-proof!
If you've read through and said "nope, not me" to all of the above, then you're lucky, but you've undoubtedly had the issue of having to reset your saved password because of a hack.
Ah, now I have your attention. Hacking is rife on the internet, every other day we hear of a new attack on the news; hackers getting into celebrity phones or multi-national companies like Sony or EBay for example. So, what's stopping them from hacking your, much less secure, online accounts to get personal information from you?
One way to protect yourself against these online attacks is to use a password manager like LastPass. This is an online browser plug-in, protected by a master password (or two, for the even more security conscious), which holds multiple account details and their passwords so you never have to remember them again. It can also generate more secure passwords for you. This may sound lazy, but, you know your passwords are supposed to look like "KQo=3oyI8Gbs>?9" right? So, an automatic generation and memory tool would come in very useful.
The Government-run 'Stay Smart Online' alert service has issued a high priority alert regarding malware used to target password managers. They have recommended using a two-factor authentication, which is offered by LastPass as mentioned above. See what else Stay Smart Online recommends here.
A relatively new feature of the LastPass plug-in is 'Auto-Password' which has come about because of the recent increase in hacking activity. When a 'hack' is reported on a website, if you have an account with them, LastPass will automatically change your password using your computer. The details are encrypted and decrypted locally on your computer before syncing, so sensitive data never leaves your machine (it is never stored in the 'cloud' or online and therefore is only accessible to you).
LastPass works in Chrome, Safari and Firefox internet browsers and depending what tier account you use, it works on mobile devices as well. With the amount of businesses online, using a password manager could be the answer. See lastpass.com for more info.
Disclaimer: Please consult your personal computer experts before implementing a password manager.