May 10, 2012

An Open Letter to Carson Daly, and All Celebrities Struggling with Passwords

Together on the hacked list? Just say no.
Dear Carson Daly,

Your passwords are at risk. Sounds alarmist, we know, but please hear us out! Wouldn't you like to eliminate that risk and make them easier to deal with by using LastPass?

We listened to the tech chat you had with Jefferson Graham over at USAToday. And we wanted to let you know that we whole-heartedly agree with you - passwords are a pain! There are so many services and apps we need to access now on a daily basis that keeping track of all those logins, and remembering all those passwords, quickly becomes a headache-inducing time-suck.

But please, don't store your passwords and most valuable personal information in plain text as notes on your BlackBerry! And have you checked to make sure you're using strong passwords for each service, without using a single password more than once? Bad things happen to those who don't take care of their passwords, and we really, really don't want those bad things to happen to you.

And, more than anything, how gratifying would it be to declare your triumph over those aggravating passwords and get on with your life? Because you have way, way more interesting things to do with your time and energy.

So can we offer a few pointers? We know there's nothing quite as sexy as passwords, but these tips could, at worst, save you hours of repetitive tasks every month, and at best, head off attempts to guess or social engineer your passwords and use any emails, photos, or videos from your personal life as fodder for the latest celebrity gossip. I mean, it's a win-win, right?

So when you have a chance, and we hope it's soon, please make time for our little checklist:
  • Get set up with LastPass, so you can store your logins in one secure vault, generate unique passwords for each site and service, and have your data securely synced wherever you need it, including your BlackBerry.
  • Enable a pin code for your smartphone, so if you walk away from it no one can take a glance at your data. Avoid using pins that are birthdays, anniversaries, and other important life-related dates that someone could find on Wikipedia, IMDB, or your fan sites.
  • Sign up for a service that offers GPS tracking and remote wiping, to lock down your data if you lose your phone.
  • Stick with 3G or 4G service and avoid public WiFi, so you can avoid spyware and transmitting your data in an easily-intercepted form.
Most celebrities are hacked through email, social media, and other accounts that they use regularly on their smartphone due to poor password security. Scarlett Johansson, Mila Kunis, and Christina Aguilera are just three celebrities of dozens who've landed on the "hacked" list - even if you've been seen with these lovely ladies before, this is a list we don't want to see you on, and we're sure you don't want to be featured there either!

Yours in password domination,
The LastPass Team

PS - If you're a LastPass user reading this letter, please help us spread the word to Carson by tweeting him @carsonjdaly and sharing your #LastPass password story. Thank you!