Managing your passwords has never been simpler, even if you work across a range of devices and operating systems. Gone are the days of hastily scribbling “password123” on a Post-it note and then immediately losing it in the sea of paper on your desk.
However, that doesn’t mean the process is always plain sailing. Accessing the iCloud Keychain via an Android phone, for example, is incredibly difficult as the former works through Apple’s browser, Safari.
Luckily, there’s a ray of light at the end of the tunnel: LastPass. Here’s how to access your Mac passwords on Android phones, or any other device for that matter.
Mac passwords on Android phones: LastPass
LastPass is one of the best-regarded, and simplest, ways of managing your passwords. Used by millions of people around the world (5,778,195 at the time of writing), the service stores all of your logins and card details in your browser of choice – for free. It also has a handy strong password generator, meaning you can banish “12345678” and “abracadabra” forever.
If, like me, you have a Mac and an Android phone, it’s worth using the Chrome browser plugin (or extension) to store your passwords. To begin, head to the Chrome Web Store and press “Add to Chrome” on the LastPass page.
A dark grey ellipsis symbol will then appear in the plugin area in the top-right of the window. Click on it to create a LastPass account – and make sure that you choose a very strong master password. There’s no point going to the effort of squirrelling your logins away in a secure “Vault” only to leave the key in the door.
Once you’ve signed up, the LastPass symbol will turn red. To begin adding passwords on your Mac or PC, click on it and either head to your Vault or click “Add item” and then select the password symbol.
You will then need to add the URL, username and password and click Save. Usefully, LastPass tells you if your existing password is weak or strong via a colour-coded progress bar underneath the password field. If it’s red, it’s time to change.
However, this being 2018, LastPass also automatically offers to save a password when you enter it in the browser – saving you a couple of minutes’ work. It’s the much easier option and you’ll find that you quickly amass a collection of all of your passwords.
Ticking the “Autologin” box in “Advanced Settings” will also save you a few more precious seconds – and means you won’t have to rack your brains for the password or, worse still, send yourself a reset email because you’ve forgotten it.
Now that you’re set up with the desktop version of LastPass, it’s time to download the Android, or iOS, app. These are both well-designed and intuitive, meaning it only takes a couple of taps to get set up.
Once the download has finished, open the app and log into your LastPass account. All of your passwords will be listed in all their glory and, after you’ve been prompted to jump into your phone’s settings to allow LastPass to automatically fill username and password fields in Chrome and other apps, you’ll never have to labouriously tap them in again.
To add an extra layer of security, worth setting LastPass to fingerprint unlock. This will both keep your Vault away from prying eyes and save you the bother of entering the master password (just don’t forget it!).