Now that I’ve been using Lastpass for over two years — and I can’t imagine my digital life without it — I repeatedly run into reminders that there are in fact individuals on this Internet who don’t use password vaults. In the same way that I have to remind myself that very few people know that humans don’t ‘burn food’ like a literal coal furnace or that very few people know protein bars are just candy bars for adults, I have to remind myself that not everyone understands how much easier life is with a service like Lastpass.
Normally, in an effort to convince you of how right I am, I’d start dumping an exhaustive list of hard-wrought and hard-thought reasons designed to create THE DEFINITIVE REFERENCE FOR WHY YOU SHOULD USE LASTPASS. That’s how I like to write about things. I’m a big picture guy. However, sometimes a good case study is just as convincing, if not more so, than an abstract but detailed argument. It’s also a lot less exhausting for me.
The Case Study
I recently pre-ordered the new Bulletproof Cookbook and I get pre-order bonuses for having done so. Nice. Unfortunately, to access these bonuses, I have to create a new account on a new website JUST TO WATCH THOSE VIDEOS. And nothing else. It’s kind of a waste. Why not, I don’t know, email me a dropbox link to download the videos?
In the past, I would’ve created my account — entered my email and used some old beater password that I’ve had memorized forever and that I don’t use on my important accounts. I’m guessing you do something similar. However, using the same password on multiple sites increases the likelihood that that same password is eventually going to end up in a database breach. Then your wonderful “unique” password becomes part of a huge list of passwords that hackers can use when trying to break into online accounts. Funny stuff can happen if a targeted account happens to be yours.
You can avoid this risk by never using the same password ever again. But coming up with new passwords is hard, and then you have to memorize them. This brings us back to our case study: creating a password for a dinky site just so I can watch 5 videos! Why would I want to waste my brain power on that? That’s not Bulletproof!
If you’re like me, this is not the first time you’ve purchased digital goods that can only be accessed through some one-off membership site, and it won’t be the last. Since I have Lastpass, this doesn’t concern me. Lastpass creates a random, cracking resistant password and then remembers that for me. All I have to do is click on things.
The only password I have to remember now is my master password — the password that logs me in to Lastpass. It’s the last password I have to worry about, hence “last pass”. Everything else is taken care of. I don’t come up with new passwords and I don’t remember them. Thus, creating a one-off account for the Bulletproof Cookbook isn’t a concern for me. I just make the account, Lastpass remembers it, and I go on my merry way.
If you try it, you’ll love it
Is this making sense to you? Some people think this sounds like more trouble than its worth. Maybe I’m overcomplicating things by explaining why Lastpass is awesome. Maybe it’d work better if you just try it. I mean, it is free. Here’s a harmless way to try it out:
- Add the Lastpass extension to your browser.
- Create an account with Lastpass.
- Set up three sites in Lastpass. Here’s how. Just three. You can add more later.
- Browse the Internet as you normally do.
- Trying making a new account and bask in the cryptographically random splendor that is now under your control. You don’t have remember new passwords and everything is automatically filled out for you!
It takes five minutes to set up. You spent almost as much time reading this blog post. Quite honestly, in light of that fact, you’d be an idiot not to try it. You just spent time reading about it — why read about it if you’re not going to try it? Sunken cost and all that.