Dear LastPass...

"Dear LastPass,

What have you done?

I get that you’re a business, and the aim of a business is to make money, and satisfy shareholders.

However, I also think that the decision to limit device type is short-sighted and not very user friendly.

Why not limit the amount of devices that can be used, regardless of type?"

I have been a subscriber to LastPass since 2011, and last year signed up to their Family plan, so the changes that have been announced don’t affect me - I can continue unabated.

However, when LastPass announced that users on the Free plan will need to decide which device type is their primary one, it gave me pause for thought.

LastPass are asking their Free users to choose between using a computer / laptop or a mobile device such as phone, tablet or smart watch.

As LastPass Free users login on March 16th, the first device to be used will set the active device type - with just three chances to switch, to decide what’s right.

In my humble opinion, if LastPass really needed to make a change, they should have considered limiting the number of devices (rather than the type) which still gives a user the flexibility, but isn’t life-changing. I agree, it would still have caused upset, but I know that I would have a hard time choosing between mobile or desktop as my primary security device.

However, now that the change is announced, (and unless LastPass make a dramatic u-turn) it takes effect on March 16th 2021. So, what are the differences between LastPass Free and LastPass Premium? What do you get for your money.

Well, apart from access via unlimited device types (computers and mobile devices), you also have:

  • Security Dashboard & Security Score

It can be overwhelming when you’re trying to start improving your online security, but LastPass helps with the Security Dashboard. This shows where your security weaknesses that have been identified in your Vault.

  • Dark Web Monitoring

The dark web monitoring feature evaluates all of your stored email addresses in your Vault items, and alerts you immediately – via email notification and within the Security Dashboard – if any of your email addresses have been found in the database of breached credentials.

  • Emergency Access

LastPass gives you the ability to grant one-time access to your Vault (including all of your passwords, secure notes, form fill items, and other information) to one or more designated LastPass users, and specify an access delay.

What this means is that when a designated person attempts to access your information, this person would have to wait a specified time period of your choosing (e.g., 3 hours) during which you are notified and have the ability to decline the requested access. If you do not deny the request within the specified time period, the emergency access user will be able to access your Vault.

This means that in the event of you being indisposed (or worse) your passwords will be available for a loved one to access your accounts. This could really help during a highly stressful time.

  • One-to-Many Sharing

You can share an item (e.g., username, password, Secure Note, etc.) with another LastPass user by using the Sharing Centre to notify your recipient, which will then allow them to accept the shared information. If you change your mind after you’ve shared an item – don’t worry! You always have the ability to revoke access to your shared item once it’s been sent. It is highly recommended that you only share items with those whom you trust.

  • 1GB File Storage Using Secure Notes

You can add, manage, and share non-password information in your Vault to make LastPass the ultimate sticky note repository – these items are saved as Notes. You can even add attachments and view changes previously made to the Note.

I use this to store scans of passports, driving licences and much more. It’s a safe repository

  • Advanced Multi-factor Authentication

Multi-factor Authentication is an added layer of security that you can enable within LastPass, and requires a second step before you can gain access to your account. Enabling this security feature helps protect your account, even if your Master Password was compromised, your account could not be accessed without this second form of authentication.

I have often spread the word about two-factor (or multi factor) authentication as an additional layer of protection.

I don’t think LastPass have done themselves any favours with this change, and it could cause more confusion after the change date, especially when people see they can’t access passwords from a non-active device type. This could ‘scare’ them thinking passwords are lost.

I guess it will all be in the messaging that LastPass will display.

Of course, there are other password managers available, and I’ve seen a lot of posts about people moving (with immense speed) to services such as Bitwarden or 1Password.

No password manager is perfect, and for me, one of the key points is usability. Especially for something that is helping to protect me from hackers.

Personally, over the 10 years I’ve been with LastPass, I’ve never had a problem, and their support has been very good.

Sure, there’s a cost, but nothing is really free. Everything comes at a price; whether financial or privacy!

If you’re already a LastPass user, I genuinely think that upgrading to a paid plan (either Premium or Families) is the way to go.

If you've yet to decide, then take a close look at each of the services, and make sure the one you choose will do what you need it to do.

Password management is so important to get right, to make sure you and your online life is protected.

This article contains affiliate links. If you purchase from one of these link then I may be paid a small commission. This does not affect the price you will pay. Thank you.

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