Using secure, unique passwords for every Internet site or service is one of the best security practices out there. That does not necessarily protect you completely, as the Sony Playstation Network incident has shown, but it invalidates several popular techniques to steal passwords and log in information.
With that incident in mind, I thought it would be pretty cool if you could run a check on all of your passwords and login information to see which of your accounts may have been affected by the hack. While that's unfortunately not possible, the next best thing is. The developers of the popular online password manager and synchronizer Last Pass have created an online tool that evaluates the strength and other information about all passwords stored in a user's vault.
This way, you can assess all of your passwords and logins at once, and make changes to the accounts that receive a weak rating. It begins with an overall score and rank at the top. Detailed results are then displayed when you start scrolling down, and this is where it gets interesting.
The results screen displays various information about your passwords. This includes the average password length, number of duplicate passwords and sites with those passwords, number of weak passwords or number of blank passwords. While those results are nice to know, they are not that helpful as you do not yet know which sites and log ins share the same password or use a weak passwords.
Those information are displayed when you scroll down to the Analyzed Sites listing. Last Pass' Security Challenge lists all sites with duplicate passwords, unique passwords and no passwords in list form on that page.
You see on first glance which sites share a password. Even better, the password strength is shown on the very same page ranging from 0% (very bad) to 100% (very strong).
A visit site link is provided next to each entry which makes it even more comfortable to visit those sites and change the passwords.
It may take a while to go through all duplicate or weak password sites that are shown, but it is well worth it. Chance is, you find duplicate site listings as well, which is for instance the case if a service uses the same log in on more than one domain, or if you use it to access a site by domain name and IP address.
You can run the test again at anytime, and the score gets automatically updated. Last Pass displays test history information where you can see how the score improves or drops based on your changes.
A low score does not necessarily mean that you do not care about your account security. I for one use the very same username, email, password combination on many sites that force me to register to check out their service. These accounts are in no way linked to me and it would not be problematic if they would get hacked. More or less like a private Bug Me Not password if you like.
Tips on how to improve the overall security score are displayed at the very bottom of the page.
Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.