Changing passwords is a chore. It's such a chore that many people didn't bother even in the wake of the Heartbleed fiasco. A Pew survey taken in April showed 61% of Internet users aware of the Heartbleed flaw actually took action.
Now, two purveyors of password management software, LastPass and Dashlane, have introduced functionality to automate the process. This isn't a joint effort, but the two companies' automatic password changing features are similar, and they're ready to roll today.
LastPass calls its feature Auto-Password Change and says it's available, in beta form, to "all users" starting with version 3.1.70 of the software. Chrome, Safari, and Firefox are all covered, and 75 of the "most popular websites" (including Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest, Home Depot, and Dropbox) are supported. Using the feature involves clicking a single button on the "edit" screen for a saved site.
Dashlane's take on the concept is dubbed Password Changer, and it's the product of another firm, PassOmatic, which Dashlane has acquired. Password Changer is included in the latest beta version of Dashlane. In the future, Dashlane will add an option to change passwords automatically at set intervals. "For example," the company explains, "a user could set Password Changer to automatically change some of their most important passwords every 30 days."
Aside from some odd stability problems, which I fixed by reinstalling the software, Dashlane has treated me pretty well, so I'm eager to give the new Password Changer system a shot. While I did update all my passwords after the Heartbleed disaster, I hadn't touched them in a long time before—and I haven't updated them since.