Password Management 101

I’ll be honest here. I was one of those guys who used the same password (or, at best, a slight variant of the same password) on practically every online site that required me to create an account. We’re talking about 100+ accounts ranging from my personal email addresses, online shopping, online banking, etc – all using the same password.

There are so many ways for that to go just horribly wrong. Luckily, I’ve never had any of my personal accounts compromised, but I can’t say the same for my business. My business partner’s personal email account used the same password as our primary corporate email account. So when his personal account credentials were compromised as part of a Hotmail security breach, some enterprising hacker (haha) was easily able to associate the two email accounts and gain access to our corporate email account. To make matters worse, all of the passwords for the vast majority of the affiliate programs that we work with were tied to that account. So now the hacker had access to practically all of the $$ flowing into our business. He also had access to our corporate Paypal account, which is tied to our corporate bank account…

Luckily, we noticed that the email account had been compromised relatively early, and we managed to regain access to everything and shut the guy out. It took my business partner and I a full 2-3 days of working on it non-stop to re-secure everything. Also, Paypal returned the $1800 that the hacker had siphoned off.

So, while this experience only ended up costing us 2-3 days of lost productivity, it could have been much, much worse.

And that’s where LastPass comes in. Seriously, if you’re not using a password management tool, do yourself a favor and sign up for LastPass today.

  • It’s free. (or $12/year if you want to use it on your mobile devices as well)
  • It’s very simple to use.
  • Your passwords are always accessible – no matter where you are.

The basic premise of LastPass is that the password that you use to access your LastPass account is the last password you’ll ever have to remember. Whenever you visit a new site and are prompted to create an account, LastPass can generate a complex, secure, & unique password for you. It then stores your account information in LastPass, and every time you visit that site, LastPass will auto-fill your login information for you.

Inside of your LastPass account, you can organize, edit, and share your accounts with others. I use the sharing feature to share access to our various financial accounts with my wife.

The beauty of LastPass is it’s ease-of-use. After you’ve been using it for a day or two, it will become second nature. They have plugins available for every major browser, and as I mentioned in the bullet points above, if you want to pay a token amount each year, you can get the same access on any of your mobile devices (phone, ipad, etc.).

Just do it. Seriously. You don’t want to have what happened to our business happen to you.

If you have any questions – hit me up in the comments below!

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