As you’ll already (hopefully) know, my focus for 2017 is productivity and, more specifically, how we can all work in ways that make us more productive.

But changing the way in which we work is just one piece of the overall productivity boosting puzzle. Another piece of said puzzle – one that interests me immensely – is how we can utilise online tools and applications to make ourselves more productive.

In fact, I love online productivity tools and applications so much I created a Facebook group dedicated to them. And there’s one app in particular that I wanted to talk about which saves me a huge amount of time every day and boosts my productivity as a result – that app is LastPass.

Password Overload

LastPassPasswords have become a huge part of our lives today, with the majority of websites we visit requiring us to login for some reason or another. Internet banking, email accounts, social networks, forums, eCommerce sites, the list goes on and on.

Depending how good your memory is, remembering all these passwords can be nothing short of a nightmare. And if you forget one, it’s even worse! You’ve got to go through additional checks to verify that it is indeed you who’s trying to login and remember the answer to some security question you potentially configured years ago.

The problem for me, as a virtual assistant, is that I’ve got dozens of my own passwords to remember as well as even more for all my clients. Having them written down or saved in a spreadsheet isn’t exactly secure and the last thing I want to do is be pestering my clients for their passwords again, which is why I opted to give LastPass a try.

LastPass is much more than just a password manager

It’s true; first and foremost, LastPass is a password manager. But it’s also a lot more. It can help keep all of your digital life organised, accessible and secure.

All you need to do is create one master password and LastPass does the rest. New website logins can be added to your LastPass vault quickly and once you’re setup, you’ll only need to remember one password going forward.

LastPass even allows you to create secure notes in which you can store information about your most valuable documents such as your passport, birth certificate, credit cards, etc. Moreover, LastPass can store address information too, making ordering online seamless.

On an average day, I must use LastPass at least 30 times. That’s at least 30 occasions where I don’t have to reference a database to find a password, which saves me lots of time and hassle.

In addition, every single one of my and my clients’ passwords are stored securely. Data is encrypted and decrypted at the device level – so on your laptop or phone – and everything stored in your personal vault is kept secret, even from LastPass.

Best of all is the price. LastPass is free to use, with a premium option, which I’ve actually just signed up for myself. It’s only $12 a year and gives you a number of benefits, including priority customer support, unlimited sync across all your devices and the ability to easily share passwords with other people, plus more.

Got a Fitbit, Uber or Yelp account? You should probably change your password…

We keep hearing that our online passwords should always be unique i.e. never use the same one on different websites. But many people still have a tendency to do so anyway. That’s because it keeps things simple.

The problem, however, is that security breaches are occurring with frightening regularity nowadays. Just last week, for example, it was reported that web performance and security firm Cloudflare had discovered a software bug, which could have compromised the security of more than 5 million websites. Basically, anyone with a Fitbit, Uber, OkCupid, Medium or Yelp account should probably change their passwords immediately.

In response to this security issue, LastPass launched the LastPass Security Challenge. It identifies any websites affected by the Cloudflare bug and allows you to change your passwords for those sites effortlessly.

Are you already using LastPass or a similar password manager? I’d love to hear about your experiences if you are. If you’re not, why not head over to LastPass.com and signup for a free account. Who knows, you might find yourself paying for the premium version in the not so distant future…

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