LastPass 4.0

lastpass-fourpointzero-logoLastPass 4.0: a reader asks…

Hi Coach, I followed your advice and set myself up with LastPass awhile back. I just got an email saying that there’s a new version 4.0 out. Should i update to the latest version? Is there any downside to sticking with the version I have now (3.2)?

woman-whispering-to-man-with-a-laptop-image-from-shutterstockI’m glad you took the step to protect your digital life and identity with a password manager. Products like LastPass are really the only way we can protect ourselves these days with all the hacking going on. Not a day goes by when the news doesn’t report some other company, business, bank, or government entity got hacked. So until something better comes along (biometric?) we’re stuck having to deal with login credentials – the username and password.

My general advice is that anytime a security product offers an upgrade, you should take it immediately. Regardless of what the maker says, there are always security problems that are fixed in the newest version, and running older versions puts you at risk. That said, I found the upgrade process to be overly complicated and fraught with problems. It seems that the folks at LastPass built the installer for the newest version to work great for new users, not so well for upgraders. So let me give you a tip to make your upgrade as painless as possible:

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Before you attempt to install LastPass 4.0, uninstall any and all LastPass programs or extensions from your computer. Click Start and type “uninstall a program” and uninstall any LastPass item you find there. Open your web browser and go into the settings and delete any LastPass extension or add-ins you find. Once that’s all done, restart your computer and then download and run the LastPass installer.

Don’t worry about losing your Vault, it’s safely encrypted and held on the LastPass servers. Once you log back into your LastPass account, you’ll be right back where you were before, but with the shiny new 4.0 interface. Be sure to add and enable the LastPass extension or add-in to your web browser (if that’s not done by the installer) – not all browsers can get LastPass automatically.

I should note that the new version does have some significant improvements, such as a better way to view and navigate your Vault and new Emergency Access and Sharing features. You can read about them on their blog announcement, or check out the release notes. I think ultimately LastPass 4.0 is going to be a winner, I just wish the upgrade path was simpler.

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