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Change all of your passwords at once with Dashlane

Dashlane's new Password Changer feature does the password-changing legwork for you, letting you change all or a selection of your passwords with a couple of clicks.

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Matt Elliott/CNET

Whenever a big security breach such as Heartbleed occurs, I engage in an internal dialogue in an effort to determine if it's worth the hassle to change my admittedly weak passwords. The debate ends up boiling down to this question: is the threat of some of my accounts getting hacked greater than the time and effort required to change my passwords?

With Dashlane, I no longer have to crunch the numbers to decide whether I need to change my passwords. Today, it released a new feature that lets you change all or some of your passwords with a few clicks of your mouse. Dubbed Password Changer, the new feature is in beta and available for the PC and Mac versions of Dashlane; it will come to Dashlane's mobile apps soon, according to the release.

You can sign up for Password Changer on Dashlane's site to be added to the waitlist. When I signed up earlier today, there were more than 8,000 people ahead of me, although tweeting about it dropped me to 450th in line.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

When the feature arrives for your account, you will see a Password Changer button with an orange beta tag at the top of the Dashlane app. It opens a new Dashlane window where you can check off the accounts that need a new password, or you can check the box for Auto-change password at the top to select all of your accounts listed. Click the green Change password button and Dashlane will change all of your passwords.

(For the curious, the "auto" in Auto-change refers to the fact that Dashlane is changing your passwords for you instead of making you manually create passwords, as opposed to Dashlane changing your passwords on some sort of schedule moving forward.)

To see the new passwords that Dashlane created for you, head back to the main Passwords page of Dashlane, mouse over one of your accounts, and click the gear icon to see its settings. Next, click the lock icon next to the password field to view your new password. In addition to doing the password-changing legwork for you, Dashlane's Password Changer also creates stronger passwords than you would likely create, if left to your own devices.

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Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

In my experience, not all of my accounts showed up on the Password Changer window. In fact, accounts that used the same email that I used to create my Dashlane account were not listed. According to Dashlane's developers, "On the Mac version, we have a feature which prevents you from using Password Changer on the account you use as your Dashlane ID. We did this because if you change this password (intentionally or accidentally), and don't know the password, you might get stuck not being able to receive a token from us, which would prevent you from using o Dashlane anymore."

I am awaiting an answer why this issue is specific to Macs and will update this post when I hear back. In the meantime, if you are on a Mac, you might consider creating a new email account to use for your Dashlane log-in.

In related news, just yesterday I wrote about how and why you should set up and use a password manager.