Password management services such as LastPass and 1Password are great because they make it easy to keep all your online accounts protected by using a single encrypted master password… at least in theory.
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LastPass, one of the most popular options around, has been rocked by multiple security breaches and issues over the past few years. Most recently, in March, a major exploit that made it possible for hackers to steal passwords was uncovered. In response, LastPass told its users to remain on high alert until the issue was eventually patched up. Another exploit caused by some bad code in the LastPass browser extension was reported a year earlier in 2016, and in 2015 the company confirmed a full-scale security breach.
If you're starting to see a pattern you're not alone. LastPass seems to have recurring security issues. So if you're worried about keeping your online identity protected we're here to help make the switch to 1Password as easy and painless as possible.
LastPass vs. 1Password
Before you switch, it's worth noting a few of key difference between the two services. LastPass stores your password on its servers while 1Password offers the option to keep your data protected locally, making you less susceptible to hackers — though the company recently began pushing customers to rely on its servers instead. 1Password also offers a special tool called Watchtower that tracks the websites you use to know if any have been hacked so you can quickly change your password.
A major plus for LastPass is that it's free (with a premium version that offers emergency access, priority tech support, 1GB of encrypted file store and more available for $US2 [$2.49] per month), while 1Password costs $US2.99 ($3.72) per month for a single user or $US4.99 ($6.21) for a family plan covering up to five people. But if you don't mind paying a nominal fee for some extra peace of mind, here's how to switch.
How to switch from LastPass to 1Password: The easy way
1Password actually has a pretty handy guide for switching over from LastPass. This process will cover all your site logins and "Secure Notes", which covers important personal data such as your bank account and passport numbers.
To start, create a new account with 1Password. Next, log into the LastPass website and select More Options. Then click on Advanced and then Export. At this point, you may be asked to log in again. You should see a Text Field containing all your LastPass data. Copy it by right clicking on the text field, choosing Select All, then choosing Edit and then Copy.
Using a password manager is basically internet security 101 these days, but that doesn't make them any less intimidating. If you've never used a password manager, they're annoying, cumbersome to use, and baffling at a glance. 1Password is one of the easiest to use options around, but that doesn't mean you don't need some help setting it up.
With your LastPass data retrieved, head to the 1Password website and sign in. Click on your account name in the top right of the page and select Import. Select LastPass and then choose the relevant vault (probably Personal or Private if this is your personal data and not a work account). You'll see a text field, right click and select Paste. That's it, you're done.
At this point, you should uninstall LastPass so it doesn't interfere with 1Password. Then download the 1Password browser extension and start using it.
How to switch from LastPass to 1Password: The complicated way
If you're worried about exposing your data while making the transfer, iMore has a significantly more complicated guide that requires creating an encrypted disk image and transferring that to 1Password instead. It probably isn't necessary, but if you're feeling paranoid about LastPass in the first place, you may want to consider it, too.
Either way, with a little effort you should be back to surfing the web, worry free, before too long.