How To Get Your Family To Really Use A Password Manager


My purpose to strengthen my online security for many years, but I pulled the unfinished task from a to-do list to the next, year after year. Until, finally, the lockdown gives me time make password managers available, buy one, and fill it out.

Thinking I made my husband and teenage son, I bought 1Wordsfamily version so we can all be protected. What I didn’t expect was that they would both be reluctant to use it. I soon learned that this was a common issue.

Abrasha Staszewski, a first adopter of 1Password, is a case in point. He bought the password manager in January 2008 after hearing about it at a MacWorld exhibit in his hometown of San Francisco. At first it was not a subscription program; you just download the software to your computer. Staszewski installed it and started using it.

When the company offered an upgrade for a family program, he bought it, hoping to accommodate his wife Maria Cristini and their two grown sons. “I told Mary,‘ It’s so simple; you only remember one password, ‘but he wasn’t interested. ”A few years later, Maria started using it, but“ she always complained that it didn’t work. I think one of the problems was that when I installed it on his phone, I did it under my account, and it wasn’t syncing well with his computer. ”As for his sons, there was one riding on it; others never.

Howard G., from Washington DC, has a similar problem. He was able to change Dashlane for himself and was very pleased with the product. He then tried to upgrade the family plan. “My wife finds it complicated and doesn’t want to use it; and it wasn’t part of my daughter’s college world. He prefers the Apple iCloud Keychain. “

Even an online security expert can have a hard time convincing his family to use a password manager. Tom Alessi, CIPP, CISSP, and CISM certified, has been a security professional for 20 years. He uses MacPass, but he cannot change his wife.

If you’re facing the same resistance at home, don’t despair. The following tactics will help you align everything.

Open the Road

For Celia Tejada, who lives between San Francisco and Northern Spain, it’s important to get a family password manager. “My life is complicated. I travel a lot, and I run a lot of businesses. I need to streamline all the information and make it accessible to my own assistant. I also want my kids 25 and 28, to be able to get to some things. ”

Instead of trying to convince her sons, she decided to go it alone. “We don’t all have to hold hands and ride the train together. I first jumped on the train with my assistant; we built all the common information. Afterwards, when my sons called me to ask, ‘Mom, what’s the password for that account?’ or ‘What is my Spanish passport number?’ I’ll just say, ‘It’s in the family password manager.’ In the early stages they only used it to find this information, but now they are more comfortable storing their own passwords. ”

Dashlane CEO JD Sherman offers similar advice: “The way we think about building our product is a good rule of thumb: give before you ask. The best way to get family members on board a password manager is to start a little securely sharing popular accounts, such as streaming services or news subscriptions.After that, your family will see some immediate value in using an administrator in the password (they have the correct password even if you use Password Change), and they are more likely to begin exploring other shapes and changing their behavior. ”

Consider Other Routes

The prospect of sharing passwords or login protection wasn’t appealing enough for my family. My son is 19; he did not have many financial assets to worry about; my husband is not technology oriented. I have to find another way to.

We recently lost a relative and spent months fixing the knots in his digital profile and financial information. I explained that I had set up a shared 1Password document with important information so they could easily correct my activities after I passed, and I encouraged my husband to do the same. It was enough for them to set up their accounts and for my husband to upload his information and some passwords. I can’t say they always use the device, but they are slowly becoming more comfortable with it, especially my husband.

Find the Best Ride for You

As a security professional, Alessi is accustomed to seeing what happens under the covers of a technology company. “I know there’s a fire every day, so I’m colored by that vision.” Because of this, he wants to be careful. “I chose MacPass because it’s an open source tool; so, if there are any vulnerabilities it will be very aware, and it will be fixed. MacPass is free; you download the code to your computer and manage it yourself in the database. I’m more comfortable having a secure password in my management and I’m protected. However, it’s not for everyone. It’s more complicated than a regular family password manager. “

Alessi uses a solution designed for people who want to get hands-on. For most people, as he noted, a family password manager is run by security experts who are trained to run it, fix bugs, and respond to issues best. After all, not all of us are CISSP certified!

There is an Appointed Taskmaster

Even if each family member may have their own master password and their own private vaults inside the appliance, sometimes this arrangement is unrealistic, especially if you have a technology in between you.

Thomas T., from Seattle, opted for simplification. He chose iCloud Keychain and decided that there was only one master password for him and his wife. He and his wife share and pool their finances, “so it makes sense to share the master password and our financial accounts,” he said. That makes it easier to adopt, as his wife doesn’t have to deal with setting up individual logins for the accounts themselves or the password manager, other than remembering the master password.



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