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A long time ago, computer hackers were considered geeks who sat in their basement or garages and became expert programmers… that is the movie’s version.  In real life, hackers have no single descriptive factor.  Today’s hackers are defined as a person or persons who gain unauthorized access to users’ information for the intent of personal gains or malicious activities… it could be a friend next door, a family member in your home, or a complete stranger thousand miles away in a foreign country.  Years ago, hacking required hours of sitting in front of a computer trying various methods to gain unauthorized access through different levels of security on a computer system or network.  Now, is it as simple as running a program or utilizing a hacker tools which exploit weak points and vulnerabilities and penetrate private information.  Sometimes, hackers take only a passive role and observe network activity, while others take on a more active role and simulate attacks and use confidential information for malicious gains.  Whatever the case, it is an invasion of privacy and breach of security … we are now in the new era of cybersecurity.  With all the worms, viruses, malware, spyware, how can users maintain and secure password credentials and personal information?

If you are like me, all passwords are conveniently “remembered” on your personal laptop or computer.  But, if you need to logon to a site using a different computer away from home, you either:  a) reset your password after successfully advancing through a two-factor authentication (for example:  email address associated with account or “what was the name of your first pet?”) or b) wait until you get back home and logon to your desired sites.  LastPass is a password management system for personal and business use.  Whether you are a parent, student, or worker, LastPass can conveniently help secure and manage online activities.  Authorized users can easily share login credentials by secure passwords or generating new, and stronger passwords effortlessly with LastPass – it is like having a vault for all your password and you have the master key.  Forgetting passwords it a thing of the pas.  LastPass is simple and easy to use, and FREE!  Here is how to install:

  1.  Install by clicking on https://www.lastpass.com/how-it-works?lpInstall&installExperience=1

 

2.  Click on GET LASTPASS FREE (as show above).

After a few minutes, LastPass is installed and the shortcut key is located at the top of the screen.

 

3.  Type in your email address, and read through and ACCEPT terms and conditions. Then click CREATE AN ACCOUNT

4.  Notice, you are required to create and confirm a new master password (minimum requirements shown as indicated on image below).  Then click NEXT.

Your site is loaded, and you can begin adding items…

 

 

So, do not leave yourself vulnerable by using passwords such as:  PASSWORD, 123456, or 111111!  Protect yourself and your information and use LastPass.

BE AWARE OF THE RISKS:  Practice using a multi-layer security which describes the exercise of combining multiple mitigating security controls to protect resources and data.  And as always, use secured sites on the internet to transfer data and communication that are encrypted through Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS).