Yesterday, after many years, I said goodbye to LasPass and got a new password manager. I’ve got to say, I wasn’t happy about it. Changing services is something that happens from time to time, but it’s why I had to change that bothered me.
I was checking my mail at the start of my day, and got this spammy looking email from a company that I didn’t recognize. I scrolled all the way down the email and just barely caught the LasPass logo at the bottom. It turns out that LastPass got bought by some other company and this was their lazy way of letting me know. Now, here’s where it gets more annoying… I went looking around, and it turns out this merger was announced over a year ago, but somehow I didn’t know. What’s more, the company who bought them is known for underhanded practices. Yay.
So here I am, reading forum threads with 500+ responses, where people are talking about how bad the new mother company is, and how apparently people have been jumping ship for a year. I’m late to the party. Great. I went looking to see if all the fuss was warranted, and yeah, apparently it is. So my planned day went in the trash and everyone in the house was stressed. Long story short, after a lot of searching and reading and review reading, I found Keeper, and that’s who we went with. They’re expensive and it was hard on the budget, but we didn’t feel like we had a choice. Luckily, the transition was fairly painless, and there’s only a little bit of a learning curve.
I swear sometimes I must be a little psychic though. Why would I say that? Well, Saturday I felt a need to start closing accounts I’m not using. I was using LP to go through all of my accounts and I sent out emails and went through steps to try to close my accounts. I deleted a lot of bookmarks too. I was consolidating. Cleaning shit out. Then the LP thing happened. It’s like part of me just knew. Whether it was future knowledge or coincidence, I’m glad I got started. Oh yeah, I’ve also been doing a lot of stuff to improve my online security. Hmm… There’s a theme here.
Now, for the lessons I’ve learned in the last week. First, pay attention to what’s going on with who owns the sites you use. You may not think you need to concern yourself with mergers and buyouts, but if a service you use is being bought or taken over by people with bad security or business practices, you should care. That’s your data that’s getting messed with. Granted, most of us are in bed with some of the big evil companies like FB, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try to be smart with most of what we do online. It’s a good idea to know a little about the companies who have control of your data.
Another thing I learned is that even as careful as I usually am, I need to read terms better when I sign up for things. Most folks out there barely skim the TOS and privacy policies when they sign up for things, if they look at all. I’m telling you folks, pay attention! Take the time to read or you may wish you had. I found one site that had a hidden line about how they own all your content and can use it any way they want for their own profit. I was glad I’d only put a little bit of crap content there. I found that a few of the forums I’d joined had lines in their policies that say you can never have your content or account deleted no matter what. (Oddly, they’ll wipe out a spammer or troll, but not a member in good standing who doesn’t want to be there anymore.) God knows what’s hidden in the terms of sites these days. I’ve walked away from many sites over the years for having terms that made me shiver. I’ll certainly be more careful in the future.
Well, I’m going to keep going with trying to get myself off sites I don’t need and making my data ore secure. I’ve already ditched Google for DuckDuckGo, I’ve installed PrivacyBadger, and soon I’m going to start looking for alternatives to services provided by Google. I’d suggest that you all take a good look at the sites you’re using, remove yourself from ones you don’t need, and start paying more attention to privacy and security. It’s not about hiding anything or being paranoid, it’s just being smart in an age where it’s far too easy for people to get your data and do things you don’t want done with it. Be safe my friends.