Download and Install LastPass In Your Browser

LastPass lives inside your browser as an extension. It’s available for just about every major browser, including Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Opera.

  1. Head to the LastPass downloads page and install the extension for your preferred browser.
  2. After the installation is complete, you’ll see a new icon in your toolbar. Click that icon and select “Create an Account now.”
  3. Type in your email address and create a master password. Make this password strong, it’s the password you’ll always use to access LastPass, and all of the passwords you create and store with it. Don’t forget this.

There’s also a LastPass Mac app, but most people will find the browser extension is all they need. If you plan on accessing LastPass from your mobile device, go ahead and download the app for Android, iOS, or Windows Phone too.

Save Your Login Information for the Web Sites You Visit

Now it’s time to save your passwords in the LastPass vault. There are a few ways to do this, but the easiest is to just use the internet as you normally do, and save your passwords as you log into each new site. That way LastPass does the work for you.

  1. When you arrive at a site with a login page, type your username and password, but don’t click the sign in button.
  2. Click the LastPass icon inside the password field, then click “Save credentials for this site.”

As you do this, your LastPass account will gradually fill up your vault with all your passwords and login information. Now, when you revisit those sites, LastPass can automatically enter your username and password for you.

If you used your browser’s built-in password manager in the past, or if you’ve used another supported password manager, like 1Password, you can import all your login information directly into LastPass. This process varies depending on which manager you used before, but you’ll find all the information you need over on LastPass’s Importing Passwords guide.

Fix Your Weak Passwords with the Security Challenge

Next, let’s fix all those junky, easily-hacked passwords you’ve been using. As you enter more and more passwords into LastPass, you’ll want to go in and audit those passwords and create better ones. There are a few ways to do this, but as you’re starting out, the simplest method is to use LastPass’s built-in security challenge

  1. In your browser, click the LastPass icon > My Vault.
  2. Click the Security Challenge tab.
  3. Click Show My Score.
  4. Enter your LastPass password when prompted.
  5. Wait for LastPass to analyze all your passwords.

LastPass will show you a report of all your passwords, divided into four self-explanatory sections: Change Compromised Passwords, Change Weak Passwords, Change Reused Passwords, and Change Old Passwords.

Click on each section to expand it and see which passwords LastPass recommends you change. For many popular sites, LastPass can automatically change your password with no real effort from you. Just click the Auto-Change button and LastPass will automatically create a new password for that site in the background and save it so you can use it the next time you visit.

If a site doesn’t support auto-change, you need to update your passwords manually. LastPass tries to make this as painless as possible, but it’s still a little work:

  1. Click “Launch Site” and LastPass will open that site in a new tab.
  2. Log in with your username and password, and find the change password section in the account details for that site.
  3. In the new password field, click the LastPass icon, then select “Generate a New Password.” LastPass will create a new password for the site.
  4. When prompted, select “Save Site” to save your new password information.

Depending on how many different sites you’re fixing here, this can be a long, cumbersome process, so fire up a movie on Netflix and set aside a bit of time to take care of them all.

Finally, while many of us don’t need its advanced features, it’s worth pointing out that LastPass can also share passwords with other people, grant emergency access to your account to a loved one, and can even securely store notes you might not want others to see. For now though, go ahead and just pat yourself on the back for finally getting a password manager set up after all those years of putting it off.