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Lifehacker: The Guide to Working Smarter, Faster, and Better, Third Edition by Gina Trapani, Adam Pash

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Hack 15: Securely Track Your Passwords

Level Advanced

Platform All

Cost Free

Hack 14 covers how to choose memorable passwords, but what about the passwords you already have? Or passwords that were assigned to you that you can’t change? Or passwords for systems with special requirements that your usual password scheme doesn’t work for?

Sometimes you just have to write down a password to remember it. Don’t do it where others can read it, such as on a Post-It note or in an easy-to-read text file or Word document. You can keep a secure and searchable database of those hard-to-remember passwords using the free password management tool LastPass (http://lastpass.com/).

One Master Password to Rule All

A LastPass database stores all your passwords in an encrypted state and uses one master password to access that database. LastPass has fields for username, password, URL, and notes associated with each login, and you can create login groups — such as Windows, websites, or Wi-Fi networks — to organize your passwords. LastPass is available in many forms, from web browser extensions to standalone desktop apps; the browser extensions are primarily referred to next because that’s where most of your tedious password management takes place.

The web-based LastPass service supports every popular browser and operating system. Best of all, it automatically syncs your passwords between browsers so that you can add your various login credentials once but access them from anywhere you set up LastPass. ...

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