Keep it safe: Sharing with Surevine. Week 3 – Beyond passwords

This is our third instalment in a series of blogs we are publishing each week, all under the title “Keep it safe: Sharing with Surevine”.

In our first post we introduced the series, with our theme of Passwords, and focussed on Password Storage.

Last week we took one step further, and talked about Password Complexity.

So this week we have (drum roll please)…

Beyond Passwords

Because our LastPass vault has all our passwords in, we like to give it an extra level of protection.

After all, you wouldn’t put all your house and car keys in a box secured only with a single padlock now, would you?

Most of the time, it’s going to be safe, but when a thief comes along he’s going to put a shim down that padlock and everything will be gone.

Similarly, we don’t trust everything to one password protecting LastPass. We use a technology called “2FA” or “Two Factor Authentication“.

This “second factor” in the login process is some other thing that confirms you are who you claim to be. The first factor was your password, that comes from your brain/password manager. Now we need another identifying feature from somewhere else.

At Surevine we use the “Google Authenticator” 2FA system to add extra security to LastPass. You don’t need to be a Google user to use this system, it’s just that the free app is released by them.

So download the Google Authenticator app onto your phone, click to add an account, point the camera at the barcode that shows up when you want to turn 2FA on and you’re done. Now, if someone wants to hack your account, they need to get your phone and know your favourite film is Dirty Harry.

We strongly advise using 2FA if you have a smart phone and the website/service offers it. (Other 2FA mechanisms are available that don’t require smart phones).

Our series next week is moving on from computer passwords… to pins (not the sewing kind, before you think we are going off on a mad tangent) and our summary of the Password series.