Do you use a password manager? If yes, congrats! If no, that’s okay. Until about two weeks ago, I didn’t either. It only took about a thousand websites, companies, and Leslie Jones getting hacked this year to finally scare me into getting serious about password security. And if those hacks weren’t enough to convince you, maybe this will: LastPass, our favorite password manager, is now effectively free. You no longer have an excuse!
I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon recently shifting all my accounts to LastPass, thanks to these easy instructions. LastPass generates secure, unique passwords and stores them in a locked-down “vault” you can access from your phone or browsers. It’s easy enough to do, and now all my passwords are endless strings of numbers and letters and symbols that help me sleep better at night. (Note: LastPass, like many of its competitors, has been hacked in the past, though none of the passwords was compromised. Turning on two-step verification is a good way to add another layer of protection.)
When I joined the service I ponied up $12 for the year so I’d have access to LastPass on all my devices. Today, LastPass announced it is no longer charging to use the password manager across multiple devices. This feature, along with basically any feature a normal consumer would need for password security, is now free — which means there is absolutely no reason you shouldn’t go sign up. At this point, the only cost to you will be the time you spend (took me about three hours) trying to remember every website with which you have an account. (LastPass can automate a great deal of the actual changing-your-password busywork.) And, compared with the cost of finding your bank or social-media accounts cracked open, that’s a bargain.