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How to Convince Your Family to Use a Password Manager

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When it comes to using a password manager, being fully committed to keeping your information safe doesn’t really help if your partner isn’t on board. After all, you may be storing your credit card information securely while your spouse is recklessly saving it to every random website they order from.

And what about your kids? You wouldn’t want them to become victims of identity theft because they aren’t being careful. That’s why it’s crucial for your entire family to start using a password manager, not just you.

The pros of using a password manager are endless, and there are very few cons. Your information is much more secure when it’s tied to strong, unique passwords that are stored by the manager. And you don’t have to worry about remembering all of your passwords or writing them down on that one sticky note that always gets lost.

While there are many different password managers that do the job, 1Password offers an extra layer of security with its 256-bit encryption. It’s also incredibly simple to use, which makes it a great choice for the entire family. Other popular password managers include NordPass, Dashlane, and LastPass.

Choosing a password manager is the easy part. What’s more challenging is getting your family to actually use the password manager. Here are some tips to help you succeed in convincing your family to improve their online safety by using a password manager.

Absolutely Doable and It's Free.

1. Share important information via the password manager

One way to introduce your family to the idea of using a password manager is to make it a tool for sharing important information. This can include credit card specifics, password and ID information, and passwords for shared family accounts such as streaming services and store logins.

Every time your child asks you for their passport info or the Amazon password, tell them it’s in the password manager. Eventually, they’ll get into the habit of checking the password manager whenever they need something. They might even start storing their own passwords there too!

2. Make it easy

One of the biggest obstacles to overcome is resistance to change. Whatever your family has been doing up to this point, whether it’s using the same password for everything, writing their passwords down, or saving their passwords straight to their devices, has worked for them–whether or not it’s actually safe. In order for them to actually change, the new password manager needs to be as easy to use as possible.

Assuming you’re already familiar with the password management software, you should be able to help your family members set it up and teach them how to use it. Take plenty of time to go through the process of creating a new account on a random website together and saving the information to the password manager. Your family will be less overwhelmed at the prospect of a new password management system if you walk alongside them until they feel confident using it themselves.

3. Take full responsibility

If you feel like you’ve tried everything and your partner still isn’t inspired to use a password manager, start taking full responsibility in order to make it easier for them. For example, you may decide to always be the one to create a new account and save the login information in the password manager. Simply tell your partner to let you know whenever a new account needs to be made.

Sharing a password manager can be great for some families because it puts the majority of the burden on one person. The less tech-savvy spouse just needs to be able to remember the master password in order to retrieve the login information for any particular account. Although this might involve a little bit more work for you, it’s much safer than having your disinterested spouse use the same password for everything.

4. Offer security alternatives

While using a password manager is certainly one of the most significant things you can do to keep yourself safe online, it’s not the only thing. At a bare minimum, you need to protect your email (because it allows you to reset any password), your financial information, and your health information.

If someone in your family worries about storing this sort of important information in a password manager, encourage them to use two-factor authentication (2FA) instead. As long as they enable 2FA for these categories, they can continue using a pen-and-paper password management system without too many repercussions.

5. Give incentives

When it comes to your kids, there’s nothing like offering an incentive for them to develop safer habits online. It’s your responsibility to prepare them for the technological world they’re growing up in. Just like giving an incentive for maintaining good grades or completing chores, an incentive for using a password manager can motivate them to make this a habit.

Consider paying each child a small sum every time they create an account for a new website and put it in the password manager. It should only take a few months for this to become routine, and then they won’t need an incentive anymore. Try to do this when your kids are young, perhaps when they create their first email address, so they become used to the password manager early on.

6. Be patient and consistent

Maybe you’ve tried all of these strategies but none have worked. Don’t get discouraged. Just continue faithfully using the password manager, and perhaps the others will get on the same page eventually.

It’s a good idea to keep checking in with everyone to see whether there’s any interest in starting to use the password manager. If they have tried it out and encountered some difficulties, offer to help them resolve these problems. The more patient you are, the more likely they will come around in the end.

Committing to a secure password manager is one of the best things your family can do to stay safe online. It’s much better to try to convince them to use the password manager as soon as possible than to suffer from a data breach and regret not taking it seriously when you had the chance. Still, your family will make their own choices. Just try your best and be there for them when they need help.

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