Dashlane password utility changes your passwords so you don't have to
A new tool called Password Changer is designed to change multiple passwords for different websites all at once -- especially useful in light of Heartbleed and other security threats.
Lance WhitneyContributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
A new product from Dashlane could take much of the hassle out of changing your major website passwords, which could be particularly handy in the event of a security breach.
Available as of today, the Dashlane Password Changer works by displaying a list of your password-protected websites. You click on the sites whose passwords you wish to change, and the tool is designed to automatically change them for you with a new and strong password.
Cyberattacks and hacks against major websites seem to have turned into a daily occurrence, often leaving user log-in credentials exposed. And people who use the same password at all or most of the sites they visit can be particularly vulnerable. That's true especially in the event of a security threat like Heartbleed, which affected multiple websites earlier this year. The onus is then on you to go to each site and manually change your password.
The goal behind Password Changer is to automatically change any password you select if you believe your log-in information is at risk. Sounds like a good idea. But Password Changer is just getting off the ground as a beta product, so it's still a work in progress. However, Dashlane says it aims to add more features and functionality.
For now, Password Changer supports about 70 of the top US sites, such as Amazon, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, PayPal and Twitter (the complete list is here). But Dashlane promises the list will quickly grow to include hundreds of global sites. The initial version of Password Changer supports only the PC and Mac, but the company says mobile versions are "coming soon."
You also have to sign up to get access to Password Changer, a process that may take a while. I signed up earlier Tuesday, and at last count, there were around 8,000 people ahead of me. But the wait should go down as the company catches up with all those requests.
Dashlane is also cooking up a feature that would automatically change your passwords at specific intervals. As one example, you could tell the utility to automatically change certain vital passwords once every 30 days.
OK, but once Password Changer changes your passwords, how do you keep track of them? The new product integrates directly into Dashlane's Password Manager, which stores and syncs your log-in information and automatically applies it when you need to sign in to a specific website (users sign in to Password Manager with a single master password). Dashlane is free to use on a single device, while Dashlane Premium costs $40 a year if you need to sync your log-in information among multiple devices.
The addition of Password Changer comes courtesy of Dashlane's acquisition of PassOmatic, a company that created the automatic password-change technology. Dashlane's password manager is an effective tool on its own for keeping track of your passwords. But the incorporation of Password Changer is meant to ease the time and effort of changing multiple passwords by doing it all in one fell swoop.
"Password Changer is the antidote for future Heartbleeds," Dashlane CEO Emmanuel Schalit said in a press release. "The ability to automatically change passwords is revolutionary. It provides users a highly effective way to stay safe from increasingly common security breaches on the scale of Heartbleed. Password Changer introduces a new paradigm of convenience and security for the consumer."