LastPass is one of the oldest password manager services people are familiar with. Until recently, many regarded it to be among the safest and most secure password manager services globally.
It was keeping passwords safe for more than 26 million people, after all. However, it was revealed in December 2022 that a serious data breach occurred, exposing user information. The question being asked here is, can password managers be trusted now?
What are password managers?
Password managers are useful digital vaults that securely store users’ passwords in encrypted form so that you don’t need to worry about remembering countless different passwords for multiple apps and web-based accounts.
Password managers, therefore, enable you to come up with strong passwords that are extremely difficult for hackers to guess instead of using simple passwords that are easy to guess or just one password for multiple accounts (something that you should always avoid doing).
When you create a new online account on websites and apps, the majority of them ask you to include a mixture of numbers, symbols, and letters. This often makes it harder for people to remember their passwords. This is exactly where password manager services come to the rescue. They can save you time and help keep you safe online.
If you only have a handful of passwords to remember, then you shouldn’t really need to use a password manager, but if you have multiple complex passwords, remembering them all can be tricky. So you may want to think about using one.
What are the better known password manager services in 2023?
Some of the many password managers available online today that have been keeping passwords safe for millions of users for years include:
Then there’s also 1Password, Keeper, Enpass, RoboForm, McAfee True Key, and Zoho Vault.
What happened to LastPass?
In December 2022, LastPass – one of the world’s most recognized password manager services – announced that hackers had managed to steal customer vault data by breaching its cloud storage system.
What annoyed loyal LastPass customers was that the breach had occurred in August and that it took more than three months for it to come to light. The way the company handled the breach naturally lead to a lot of questions about whether people should continue using LastPass or not.
Which accounts can I use password managers for?
You can use your password manager for any of your online accounts. You can store your passwords for important accounts, such as for your email accounts, for your social media pages, and for your casino account if you like to play craps online for example. Using such services for crypto exchanges are generally deemed safe too.
You can also use password managers to store passkeys for your online shopping accounts, your financial accounts – such as PayPal or bank accounts, your share trading accounts and any other accounts you feel are necessary.
Well-reputed sites, whether they’re ecommerce brands or banks and other major fintech companies, use 126 or 256-bit SSL encryption technology and conform to standard GDPR policies on customer data and privacy. However, it’s important that you still use strong passwords to protect each of these accounts as much as possible.
Are password managers safe?
In general, yes, password managers are safe and can be trusted. A situation like the LastPass hack is extremely rare. However, it has made a lot of people unsure about using password managers.
But the truth is that they implement incredibly high levels of encryption and are still regarded by individuals and businesses alike as essential. Any website is potentially vulnerable to attacks, so it’s your decision whether you should use a password manager or not.
Cyber security tips for staying extra safe online
Scammers and hackers are always lurking in the background and waiting to pounce on unsuspecting victims. There are several simple ways to stay safe when browsing the internet from your smartphone, tablet, desktop, or laptop. Always remember to take the following precautions:
- If a website looks fishy, chances are that it probably is. So leave the site immediately
- Learn to recognize phishing attempts
- Don’t save your password on a shared computer
- If you do sign up to a password manager, make sure it’s by a reputable company with a solid reputation
- Change your passwords every four to six months
- Never use the same password for multiple accounts
- When creating a new password, come up with something unique. Make sure it has ten or more characters (a mixture of numbers, letters and symbols) and that it’s not easy to guess
- Always back up your important documents, files, images and videos onto an external hard drive or onto a secure cloud-based server as often as possible
- Make sure all of your programs/applications are regularly updated and that they were developed by verified publishers
- Keep track of your transactions and statements to check that nobody has compromised your accounts and used your money to purchase goods or services
- Always turn on the 2-step verification security feature
- Be careful not to download suspicious files or programs – think twice before you click the download/install button
- Where possible, use a good VPN (Virtual Private Network) when browsing the internet to protect your privacy and internet connection
- Stay subscribed to a trusted antivirus and ensure that it’s always switched on and up to date
If you can remember these simple essential online safety precautions the next time you browse the web, you will have less to worry about. You will be far better protected, and you won’t have to worry too much about your accounts getting compromised.