Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tuesday Teacher Tip: LastPass

How many websites do you have to remember passwords for?

As a teacher, I would assume most of you would have:
State e-mail
Infinite Campus

at the very minimum.

Of course then you have(possibly):

  •  your personal e-mail accounts (google, yahoo, microsoft....etc, etc) 
  •  online banking account information 
  • Social Networking accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest)
  • Paypal account
  • Youtube
  • Photosharing sites
  • Shopping sites (amazon, ebay, etc...)
  • Fantasy Football or baseball 
Well, then you need to have a password for each of those accounts.  AND, although most people do it...you should NOT have duplicate passwords (using the same password for everything).

You should have an original and creative password for every account you have.

But who can remember 10-20 separate, original, unique passwords?

This is where LastPass comes in.

LastPass is an online Password Manager that basically stores all your passwords for all your websites.
For more information how it works:  Read this LINK

I think a key point to remember here, is that LastPass uses encryption technology on your local computer, so that even they won't know what your password is.  It's encrypted before it's sent out to them.

If you are wondering if a program like this is right for you... consider this information I "snipped" from their webpage.

The frightening part there for me, is that it only takes about 3 minutes to crack the average password.  

-However, don't get too worried about that...remember that MOST people have simple and easy passwords to hack, like: their last name, their maiden name, their kids name, the word "password"....by simply using capital letters, and adding a number...you strengthen your password greatly.

What a site like LastPass can do is actually pretty impressive.
  1. It remembers your passwords, so all you need to remember is ONE Password, to log in to LastPass.
  2. It allows you to "strengthen" all your passwords!  No more using the same thing for multiple sites!  You can make ALL your passwords, difficult and strong.
  3. LastPass has settings that will allow you to use different accounts for the same site...for Example, Infinite Campus.  Many people have Staff logins for Campus, but also parent logins for Parent Portal.  LastPass
  4. LastPass will allow you to "automatically" log in to certain sites...so once you log in to your LastPass account...you click on a link to go somewhere, and it will automatically log you in, if you have chosen to do so.
LastPass is available for free.  Why?  Well, they offer use of a "premium" package, which offers more features, and better protection, and "unlimited" use of their mobile apps.  (Yep, they will protect your phone too, if you are willing to pay).

LastPass looks like an interesting product, and definitely something that the average computer user should look into using.

Hope this is something that can be used, and also, hope this is something that you can spread to other people...who couldn't use a bit more security in their "online presence"?

Today's Music Video:  Though I'd reach back to my college days, and break out a little Social Distortion.

Have a great week everyone!

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