Humans are terrible at keeping things secret. They are even worse at keeping secret keys, like passwords, secret. A whole market of services like LastPass thrives on helping users not only keep passwords safe, they even help users create strong passwords in the first place. But a password alone isn’t enough to keep you safe these days, which is why many recommend using two-factor authentication as well. Taking that advice to its natural consequence, LastPass is making available its own Authenticator mobile app in an attempt to convince users to adopt these safety practices.
In case you still haven’t used any such feature (and, really, you should), what two-factor authentication practically means is that you need two things to prove that you’re you. The first factor is your password, which is usually easy guessed or hacked. The second factor is one of three things: what you are (like a fingerprint, iris, or face), where you are, or what you own (like a smartphone or smartwatch). Most two-factor authentication systems use the last one, which involves sending a PIN code, via email, SMS or app, that the user then needs to input to get into an account.
LastPass already handles the first factor quite well, so it’s high time it handled the second factor. With the Authenticator app, available or iOS, Android, and even Windows Phone, users can enable two-factor authentication on services, both those directly supported by LastPass as well as others, and be confident that the code they receive is secure. As you might expect, the Authenticator works at its finest when trying to log into your LastPass account, where you can simply do a few taps to authenticate yourself.
LastPass Authenticator, however, also works with other sites that employ two-factor authentication. The one requirement is that those sites and services also support Google Authenticator. In short, LastPass Authenticator is a drop-in replacement for Google’s own security app, which works with services like Dropbox, Facebook, Evernote, Slack, and more.
LastPass Authenticator is available for free and doesn’t have any gated feature you need to pay for.