Use a Password Keeper that Assesses Your Security Vulnerability

Last Updated Dec 16, 2010 9:49 AM EST

If you're wise, you use a different password for every site and service that you frequent, so a single breech doesn't ripple through yor entire personal, professional, and finanical life. That's a lot of semi-random gibberish to keep track of, though, so most people use some sort of password keeper. Here's one that can help you use smart, non-hackable passwords.

LastPass is a free, robust password manager that does all the usual stuff -- it remembers your passwords, gives you access to any Web site using a single master password so you don't need to remember all the others, and so on -- but it has a few less common tricks as well.

It's multi-browser, for example, so it works with Internet Explorer, Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. And more to the point, it can analyze your password collection and identify the ones which are not sufficiently strong. You can use a strong password generator in LastPass to beef up the weak passwords, or just create a new one yourself (such as with the cypher I've recommended in the past).

I'd heard about LastPass before (Rick wrote about it earlier this year, for example), but I decided to look into it in more detail this week when Gawker Media's Web sites were compromised, and commenter's usernames and passwords were breeched. As a result, Lifehacker (a Gawker property) has been recommending LastPass as a way to review and refresh all your passwords.