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LastPass is Still Safe

LastPass logos on multiple devicesAccording to security expert Steve Gibson, LastPass is still safe … after you take one action. And a further testament: Gibson still uses the service himself.

What action? Change your master LastPass password. And two-factor authentication does not exclude your need to do this. Two-factor authentication is still important and prudent, but it won’t protect you from this potential breach.

And about this breach. Apparently, LastPass representatives have only detected anomolous network traffic on a network when they did not expect it. Reportedly, they detected activity overnight on one of their networks when no employees were present. There is no confirmation that data was actually breached or stolen. LastPass is prescribing changing LastPass passwords out of prudence.

Oh, and make sure you have a complex and random password that is NOT stored in LastPass or used at any other site. Take this advice seriously! Be sure to record this password and store it in a truly safe place. And it would be a good idea to not record this password 100% accurately. Make a mental note of your modification. When your recorded password doesn’t work, then you’ll remember you modification. Re-enter this password and you’ll be in.

Security is not always convenient, but a breach or identity theft is a way bigger headache.

Apple’s Touch ID is Finally Relevant

Apple Touch IDWith iOS 8, Apple is finally allowing third-party app developers to leverage Touch ID. This allows those apps to securely access the identity information stored in Touch ID-enabled devices. Now users of those apps can authenticate with their fingertips to gain access to information within those apps.

Touch ID first appeared in the iPhone 5s and iOS 7, but Apple chose to keep its use limited to securely accessing the phone itself. A year later, iOS 8 is much more open. And developers are free to add this powerful technology in their apps.

Now, password management apps like LastPass and 1Password can ensure that you are really you. Additionally, Apple has allowed extensions into Safari which allows these apps to more easily enter usernames and passwords automatically.

Other apps are starting to implement Touch ID for enhanced security options. Microsoft’s OneDrive was recently updated to support PIN access. Once enabled, the file storage and sharing app allows you to use Touch ID to bypass entering the PIN.

Of course, Apple Pay will use Touch ID with the new iPhone 6 phones. And that service offering might just be the killer feature of this generation’s iPhone. It facilitates credit card transactions without sharing card numbers or personally identifiable information.

Who said convenience must take a backseat to security? This sort of thoughtful approach is how technology can actually simplify life instead of just adding something else to it.