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What's a Password Manager and the Best Way to Share Passwords with Family?

By Natalia Lusinski

June 28, 2021

In this day and age, there are passwords for everything, from your streaming services to your online bank accounts. 

While you may want to use easy-to-remember passwords — like your birthday or street address — the simpler your password, the more likely someone can hack your accounts or steal your identity. To that end, in 2019, 14.4 million people experienced identity fraud.

If you use the same password for all your accounts, you’re putting your security at an even greater risk.

That’s where using a password manager comes in. It’s all about security and happens to be convenient, too.

What is a password manager?

A password manager is exactly what it sounds like: a service to manage your passwords across many (likely dozens or hundreds) of different accounts. Instead of trying to keep track of your  passwords yourself — or, worse yet, using the same password for all your accounts — a password manager will create a unique password for each of these many accounts.

According to password manager company LastPass, the average employee using LastPass has an average of 191 passwords to keep track of. Furthermore, 81 percent of confirmed data breaches are due to password issues. Data breaches can result from everything from weak passwords to unencrypted ones.

Even if you have a different password for, let’s say, 30-something different accounts, all you have to do is remember the master password to your password manager and it will do the rest of the work for you. A password manager is like your password concierge — it will remember each one.  

How does a password manager work?

Most top password managers use a "zero knowledge” security model — so while your encrypted passwords are stored on their servers, they do not store your master password. Plus, enabling two-factor authentication for your password manager app adds an additional layer of security. 

“What makes a password manager safe is its Zero Knowledge security model that consists of three layers of defense: the encrypted user data, the manager's password which is not kept on the system, and the security key,” Chris Hallenbeck, chief information security officer for cybersecurity firm Tanium, told Business Insider. “A hacker would need to break down all three defenses to get access to the information.” In addition, if the password manager company were to get hacked, customer data would still remain secure. 

What's the best way to share passwords with family?

You may want to share passwords with your family, but what is the safest way to do so? After all, if you have a password manager, you don’t just want to give someone your master password through a less safe means, such as via email or texting. 

Even sending passwords via an encrypted texting platform, like WhatsApp, isn’t safe. This is because the password is displayed rather than hidden within a password management system. Similarly, you could tell someone your password verbally or write it on a slip of paper, but the password could easily get lost. 

For ultimate safety, the best way to share passwords is through a password manager. So instead of asking your partner for the Hulu password, let your password manager do the work for you. 

But before getting a password manager, be sure to get the 411 on what, exactly, you’ll be getting. Will it allow you to share a single password with someone (like for that Hulu account)? Or will it have managed password sharing, wherein other family members will have access to whatever account they happen to need access to?

When you use Trustworthy, it makes password sharing easy: you can save your master passwords so that collaborators and emergency contacts can access the info in an emergency.

What are the best password managers for families?

When it comes to password managers for families, there are many options out there. It all depends on what security features you prefer.

1Password Families 
1Password Families is ideal for families. Its AES-256 bit encryption generates strong passwords for all your accounts and alerts you about compromised websites and vulnerable passwords. Personal and shared vaults are the default vaults, but you can also create others and choose which family members have access to them. For example, you could create a shared vault of passwords for your children. You can add up to 5 people on your account (even if they’re in a different household) and add more users for $1/month apiece. You can use 1Password Families on all your devices, from tablets to laptops to phones.

Cost: 14-day free trial, $4.99/month billed annually

LastPass Families
LastPass is another highly rated family password management system. Their family plan covers up to 6 people and you can share folders and subfolders with others, and keep others private for yourself. For instance, you may want to share banking information with your partner, but not with your children. LastPass also uses AES-256 bit encryption, and multifactor authentication adds another layer of security to your account. They also have an Emergency Access feature, wherein you provide access to your account to another LastPass user for a specific amount of time.

Cost: Free 30-day trial

$4/month billed annually

With the Dashlane Family plan, you get 6 separate Premium accounts and you can synchronize all your passwords across all your devices. Some of its features include two-factor authentication, a VPN, dark web monitoring, and personalized security alerts. You can also opt not to store your password data on Dashlane’s servers. 

Cost: $8.99 a month or $7.49 month/billed annually

No matter which password manager you choose, you will have peace of mind when it comes to sharing passwords with family as securely as possible.

“Password managers are not a magic pill,” Lujo Bauer, a security researcher and associate professor at Carnegie Mellon University, told Consumer Reports, “but for most users they'll offer a much better combination of security and convenience than they have without them. Everyone should be using one.”

Trustworthy can help you stay organized

If you’ve been looking for a better way to keep your family’s vital information more organized, Trustworthy can help. With our Family Operating System®, you’ll finally have all your essential information, from medical records to financial documents, in one secure place. Trustworthy just launched a new Password category, which enables you to save your master passwords so that collaborators and emergency contacts can access the info if need be. Overall, our mission is to make your life easier while giving you peace of mind.

Getting started is easy. You can do so here, or talk to a team member today and they can help walk you through any questions you may have.