Any regular visitor to Komando.com knows one thing for sure: Never share your passwords. While that’s true in general, password sharing is sometimes safe. You just have to be careful and do it the right way.
With this tip, you’ll know how to share passwords with friends, family or coworkers safely. Essentially, it all comes down to using the right password manager. Scroll down for more details.
Why would you want to share your password?
Password sharing is especially useful for small business owners. Team members may have to share login data to access important accounts. You don’t want employees to text or email passwords to each other since hackers can intercept those messages.
You should also share your password if you have medical issues or are incapacitated. If you give your password to a trusted friend or loved one, they can log in for you to help out.
On top of that, password sharing is helpful when paying bills. Say you and a roommate only have one account for utilities. If one of you cannot access the account, the other person will need to pay before the lights go off.
MONEY TIP: 5 bills you should never put on autopay
The worst ways to store and share your passwords
Keep these rules in mind when it comes to your passwords:
- Never put passwords in an email: Even if you’re using an encrypted service, this is a bad idea. Email messages often pass through different systems and servers. This means there’s a copy of your password in your Sent folder. If hackers break into your email account, they could find your passwords and take over your accounts.
- Keep passwords out of messaging apps and texts: These apps may not be encrypted and even if they are, you’re leaving your credentials out there for anyone to see.
- Don’t store passwords on your device: Someone could get access to your phone, computer or tablet or hack into it from afar with scary programs like Pegasus. In a matter of minutes, they could steal your password.
- Finally, avoid online documents: Many document management platforms don’t come with encryption, two-factor authentication or other security features.
How to safely share passwords
The safest way to share passwords is through a reputable password manager. These tools store and generate login information for all of your accounts. Since they encrypt your passwords, they’re much safer than sharing passwords over unencrypted channels like emails or texts.
Password managers can even detect fake login pages. You can install them onto your computer or access them through websites, browser extensions or the cloud. Both you and the person you’re sharing with need an account with the same service, however.
RELATED: 6 hidden uses for password managers
The way you share depends on the password manager you use
Some password managers have built-in features that let you share login credentials with someone else. For example, LastPass makes password sharing as easy as right-clicking a password and selecting Share.
Just know that hackers breached LastPass’s security systems last year. You might want to try a password manager with more robust security systems. If the password manager you’re using lacks built-in sharing features, try this clever workaround:
- First, save a file copy of your database to your desktop.
- Upload it to a shared drive.
- Tell the recipient to access the drive and download the app.
- Give them your master key. That’s the security code you enter whenever you open your password manager.
Make sure you’re using a safe and encrypted drive. Otherwise, hackers could steal all of your unique passwords. Do you have trouble coming up with passwords that will keep you safe? Try Kim’s top 10 tips for unique, strong passwords.
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