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!

May 8, 2012

Windows Phone 7 App Update: More Robust Secure Notes, Improved Work Flow

A new update for the LastPass Windows Phone 7 app is now available for download from the Windows Phone marketplace! In addition to user interface changes and improvements in overall performance, we've added several new features that make entering and accessing your data more convenient, including more robust secure note templates, a tap-and-hold site menu for quicker access to data, and support for full-screen browser mode.

Securely store everything in your physical wallet with secure notes

The added number of secure note templates let you add customized entries for all of your credit cards, memberships, IDs, PINs, and other valuable personal information. Secure notes provide a backup of your data, so if you ever lose your physical wallet, you'll know immediately which cards need to be replaced, and how to go about replacing them. They also help you store all the pieces of data and scraps of paper that you carry with you on a regular basis, so you can travel a little lighter and a little more securely.

Once logged in to the LastPass app, while in the "Sites" view, tap the three dots (ellipsis) menu at the bottom of the screen and select the "add secure note" option. You can then tap the "Note Type" field (Generic is loaded by default) and select the relevant template.

Forget all those random post-its and Excel files, the more robust secure notes help you securely and centrally manage access to your sensitive data.

Easily copy password to clipboard with tap-and-hold content menu

In the same way that you can right-click on the desktop version of Internet Explorer to use the copy and paste to clipboard shortcuts, you can now tap-and-hold on a site entry to easily access the "copy username" and "copy password" functions. 

If you're multitasking back and forth between different apps, it simplifies the process of grabbing the login data you need.

When you're in the "Sites" view or when using the "Search" function to locate a login, you can long-tap (tap and hold) on the site name to bring up the content menu. You'll see options to launch the site, edit the site entry, or copy the username or password to the clipboard, to be pasted elsewhere on the device.

Enjoy a richer browsing experience with full screen mode

For a better view of your sites as you login via the LastPass app's embedded browser, you can now expand the browser view to "full screen" mode.

When you launch a site or swipe to the browser view, you can tap the button with the outward facing arrows to expand and minimize the browser window. The full screen mode lets you view more content within a simplified frame.

And more!

Over the last few updates we've also redesigned the UI of the app using pivot control.You'll notice you can now swipe through the Sites, Search, and Browser views to easily access and sort through your data.

We've also included a handful of minor changes to improve overall functionality of the app, including performance enhancements and crash fixes. If you're curious about trying the app, you can download it and trial it for 2 weeks before upgrading to Premium.

Remember, if you like the changes we've made to the Windows Phone app, leave a review in the marketplace, or let us know what you think in the comments below. More updates to our mobile apps and improvements to LastPass overall are in the works!

The LastPass Team