Pitt Password Manager brings everything together


Pitt Password Manager is now available as an online secure repository for all your passwords, both University-related and personal. Password Manager — the University’s name for LastPass software — will give University faculty, staff and students access to their passwords from any device. It also allows you to create a complex master password without the need even to memorize it — or any of your other passwords, for that matter.

Adam Hobaugh, Computing Services and Systems Development’s director of services and solutions, says a trial run of LastPass here late last year received excellent user feedback from faculty, staff and students.

“It’s probably the best product in the industry,” Hobaugh said, offering a “very intuitive, slick interface” with good functionality for mobile users as well as those on Macintosh, Windows and Linux computers.

Password Manager uses “multi-layered security,” Hobaugh added, to keep all of these passwords secure. In fact, “you won’t even know what they are,” if you don’t want or need to have your own records. Your passwords can be machine-created; you’ll be able to view the results but need not memorize them — which would be tough anyway, since they will be long strings of random characters.

University-related passwords will be stored in what LastPass calls an enterprise account, while personal passwords will be in LastPass’s premium account, but both will be accessible through a single log-in and interface. Staff and faculty who retire from the University are eligible to retain their premium accounts, while students can keep their premium accounts at no cost upon graduation.

Your LastPass account also can hold other information, such as notes that you want to have encrypted and share only with selected people — say, the door lock combination to your office suite, or information about servers accessible to a specific IT team.

Pitt employees must opt in to get LastPass. Those already using another password manager have the option to retain that software and to switch to Pitt’s system at a later date, if desired, with an easy ability to transfer password data, Hobaugh said.

The University will undertake an education campaign to outline the steps employees can take to start using LastPass. A batch of how-tos and best practices are already available here and here.

Marty Levine is a writer for the University Times. Reach him at martyl@pitt.edu or 412-758-4859.