As I think about everything I do online these days, cyber security has never been more important to me. At work and at home, I rely on so many apps and online services to save me precious time and help me achieve more. But am I doing the right things and being smart when it comes to online security? After all, I want to do everything I can to protect my money, keep my information private, and prevent someone from stealing my identity.
The first question is, do I have all my important sites in LastPass? If my logins aren’t in one place, it’s hard to confirm that every password is strong enough. By generating passwords and remembering them for me, LastPass makes it possible for me to have a strong password on every single website. With new research showing the average person has 191 passwords in their vault, protecting them with a password manager is such an important security step! That’s just too many passwords to keep track of.
For a more secure – and more productive – year, here are the top sites I’ve added to my vault, and recommend you do, too!
#1 Banking, so I can keep my money safer
So much of our financial lives are accessible on the internet now – whether checking, savings, 401K, investment accounts, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), and so on. While it’s obviously convenient to manage everything online, I know extra precautions are essential when it comes to protecting my money. That’s why I store the logins in my password manager where they’re encrypted, and make sure every password is unique. I also take advantage of two-factor authentication when available, which aren’t such a nuisance when LastPass is already managing my passwords.
#2 Email, so I can protect the door to my world
My email account is the hub of my online life. Every newsletter I sign up for, every app I try, every bill I pay, has my email address on file. It’s also the gateway to performing password resets for many of my online accounts. So, protecting my email account is essential. Storing it in my password manager helps me create a strong password, and rotate it more frequently for safe measure.
#3 Taxes, so only I get my refund
At the beginning of every year, there’s a surge in tax refund attacks and fraud in the US. That’s why I not only try to file my taxes as promptly as possible, every year I also rotate the password for my online tax software. With the recent Equifax breach, it’s also important to consider credit monitoring and credit freezes to prevent abuse.
#4 Social media, so I can safeguard my personal life
Whether you’re a Facebook aficionado or an Instagram fiend, most of us enjoy connecting with friends, family, and other interesting people on one social platform or another. Even so, it’s important to me to follow reasonable privacy and security safeguards on social media, so I reduce the likelihood of someone abusing my information, spreading malware to my contacts, or worse. I store my social media logins in my password manager so that I can keep those passwords unique and strong, and update them if there’s ever a breach.
#5 Anything I need to share with my spouse
From paying bills to balancing the checkbook, from managing household shopping to watching our favorite shows on Hulu, my spouse and I have a lot of accounts we both need to use. But I don’t want to compromise on security just because we both need to know the password to something. My password manager makes it easy to put all those shared logins in one place, and we both are up-to-date on the latest password! The average person shares about 4 passwords with others – but we already have 32 in our shared folder, and counting.
Once you start saving sites to your vault, you’ll be surprised at how quickly they start accumulating. Our research found that on average, the number of accounts in the vault doubles after only 3 months! I already have 292 in my personal vault alone.
The most important thing is to just get started. Once you save sites to your vault and start using the password generator to create and replace passwords, you’ll quickly realize two things: 1) It’s so much easier to let your password manager do the hard work for you, and 2) You’ll finally feel like you’re better protecting your online life.