Why You Should Consider A Family Password Manager
By Kristin Hoppe
March 26, 2021
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Back in the AOL disc days of the internet, most people got away with simple passwords they repeated for several different accounts.
Since then, password management has gotten a lot more complicated. It's not just your email and a few other logins anymore. In fact, a study conducted by NordPass found that the average user has around 100 passwords.
Now it's emails (plural!), banking accounts, retirement accounts, parent-teacher portals, Amazon, streaming services, newspaper subscriptions, chat apps, VPNs, social media, and healthcare accounts — just to name a few.
Additionally, the most commonly used passwords take only seconds for bad actors to crack — passwords like 123456, password, qwerty, and abc123, for example.
When you throw other family members’ information into the mix, it only gets more complicated from there.
So, is it time for you to finally get a family password manager? Below, we answer some common questions that will help you find the right solution.
What is a password manager?
A password manager stores your digital information in an encrypted database. That means you don't have to memorize dozens of passwords (or keep using the same one over and over again).
This helps lighten your mental load. It also allows you to easily upgrade insecure or repeated passwords, generate passwords that are much harder to break, and keep all that information in one easy spot.
What services does a password manager provide?
Despite the name, password managers do a lot more than just saving passwords. Depending on the product, they may also offer:
Username storage – Save for specific websites and pair with the password to help you log in
Encryption – Save your information in a space that offers more layers of protection than apps like Notes or Google Drive
Password generation – Easily generate long, complex, unique passwords
Safety alerts – Get a heads up if one of your accounts has been breached or certain websites have been compromised
How does a password manager work?
When you sign up for a password manager, you create a complex, master password that allows access to your encrypted information. Some password managers also require two-factor authentication.
Not losing your master password is absolutely essential, as it might be near impossible to access all of your other information without it. Many password managers provide an "emergency kit" with specific information that you can show them in the case of a lost master password.
Once your account is activated, you can generate stronger passwords for your current accounts and store any other valuable information. Most password managers are also accessible on multiple devices (desktop, tablet, mobile) for ease of use.
How do I know that it's secure?
Many people who don't use a password manager repeat the same passwords over and over again for different accounts. Should one of those passwords leak, the rest of your accounts are vulnerable to bad actors.
For the same level of security without a password manager, you would either need to memorize a variety of lengthy and complex passwords for dozens (or hundreds) of accounts, or keep them stored somewhere else.
While it might seem counterintuitive to store all of your passwords in one place, password managers are still safer on the whole. That's because password managers have encrypted user data, the manager's password, and a security key.
Hackers would need to penetrate all three of those barriers to take your information.
How does a family password manager differ from regular password managers?
Some password managers offer family-friendly options and pricing that allow multiple users to access the same account. This can be ideal for families that want to share information like home security codes, Wi-Fi passwords, Netflix logins, etc.
What are the best family password managers?
There are a lot of different password managers out there, with different ranges of features, security, and pricing. Here are a few that tend to snag high ratings for families in particular.
1Password is largely viewed as one of the best all-around password managers, with a wide array of features and easy-to-use plugins. The company also offers a subscription-based product designed for families. Up to 5 people can be on the same account, even if they aren't in the same household. Additional family members can be added for $1 a month each.
The app also offers device syncing, item history backup, and alerts for compromised websites.
Cost: $4.99/month billed annually
LastPass is another long-time player in the space that caters to family password management. They continuously monitor family email addresses for involvement in data breaches, and even offer a digital contingency plan that makes your accounts available to another LastPass user of your choice.
Like most companies, their family plan covers 5 people and offers access on all devices.
Cost: $4/month billed annually
Unlike some of its competitors, Dashlane gives you the option not to store your password data on its servers. That means that all of your passwords stay only with you and your family. The only downside of this optional feature is that you have to manage and sync your password vault between different devices.
Dashlane also offers a family plan with up to 5 people, including private accounts for each member. It also comes with a VPN and dark web monitoring.
Cost: $4.99/month billed annually
Keeper is an encrypted password manager that stands apart with some of its unique features. Take KeeperChat, for example. It's encrypted chat storage that allows family members to communicate within the app.
The company offers 5 private faults for family members, including 10 GB of secure file storage and more niche storage options like fingerprints and face IDs.
Cost: $4.37/month billed annually
The good news: whichever solution you pick, getting a family password manager helps you and your family have one less thing to worry about.
Bitwarden is an open-sourced password manager mostly targeted towards businesses, with personal and family subscriptions as well. The app integrates with a wide array of devices and browsers, and offers enterprise-grade security and compliance. Advanced security features include encrypted files, two-step login, and an authenticator.
Bitwarden’s family organization plan offers premium features for 6 users, priority customer support, and even a self-hosting option.
Cost: $3.33/month billed annually
Trustworthy Helps Families Get Organized
Keeping track of all your family's information is overwhelming. Trustworthy helps your family securely access and maintain vital information. Beyond password management alone, Trustworthy allows you to organize information like medical records, passports, and financial documents. With custom permissions and mobile accessibility, you can share the right information with specific people at the right time.