If you’ve ever been concerned about your online privacy, chances are you’ve checked out or even used a password management service like LastPass, an extension that stores all of your passwords in a single vault.
But what if an emergency arises where you’re away or sick, and it’s essential family or your significant other has access to your files and passwords? With LastPass, this is possible, thanks to their built-in “Share” option. This is just one way to make sure your family has your important passwords in case of an emergency. Google too has created a tool to manage inactive accounts and share passwords.
Our guide will outline how to use LastPass and Google to share your passwords with family when you can’t do it yourself.
Password storing services are plentiful, but when it comes to the best one for sharing the latest updates to your passwords, LastPass is the service to use. While KeePass is popular, it operates offline.
If you frequently use sites that require you to change your password on a monthly basis, a better option is LastPass, as it operates in the cloud. As a plus, an extension for LastPass in Chrome is available.
If an emergency occurs and your family needs to access your passwords right away, LassPass makes it possible. In order for it to set it up, however, you need to be proactive and share your important passwords with family before an emergency occurs.
To set this up, you need to create a LastPass account for the family member you’d like to be the recipient of your password information.
Once the account is set up, you can conduct a “Secure-share” of passwords with a family member or whomever you trust. To set up a share, go into your “LastPass Vault” to view the passwords/sites LastPass has saved, and to the right of each site you’ll see an arrow “Share icon.”
Click this icon to set up the specifics of a password share, such as the recipient’s email address, the data you want to share, and even a note to accompany the delivery.
Creating a Hard Copy
Other than sharing specific site passwords, writing down your master password for LastPass and including it in emergency hard paper documents, or in your will, is another method is ensure those important to you will be able to access your passwords.
If you have a safe or a safety deposit box, even going a step further and creating a Word document listing every password in LastPass is wise. Using the “Export ” tool in LastPass is the easiest way to create this list, which will generate a basic text list of your passwords in a new tab.
When creating the list, separate the passwords into categories to make it easy for a family to understand the list. The categories should be (roughly) as follows:
1. Things they can easily retrieve themselves, such as sites they know how to access like Netflix, Hulu, Facebook, etc.
2. Important stuff they’ll need sooner than later – email accounts and bank accounts.
3. Not so important stuff that will take a while for your family to need, such as library login information and tax site credentials.
You should also store your paper list using a tamper-evident method, such as signing over the seal of the envelope it’s in. Also – make sure to leave a note with the list explaining what to do with the passwords, in case the family member isn’t tech savvy.
Lastly, try to keep the Word doc containing this sensitive information in a separate Windows profile, which boots the security, and make sure to include the password for this profile in the paper hard copy of your passwords too.
Using Google’s Inactive Account Manager
For a way to share every aspect of your Google information, you can do this using Google’s “Inactive Account Manager,” a relatively new tool that debuted earlier this year. This practical service will send your password, as well as other Google info, to up to 10 different people.
You must pre-set up this service. The way it works is simple – if your Google account has been inactive for a certain amount of time – 3, 6, 9 or 12 months – Google will then send your information to whomever you specified.
You can set up this service to either call or email a family member with the info, and you can specify which Google services they’ll be able to access, such as your photos, Gmail, Google+, contacts and your Drive contents (where you can also keep an encrypted list of your additional URLs and passwords). Or you can even tell Google to delete your account after a period of inactivity.
One More Option: The World Without Me
In addition to LastPass and Google, there’s a site dedicated managing your passwords and digital life after you’re gone – World Without Me. It may sound morbid, but it’s a pretty cool service that lets you set up “Digital assets,” passwords mainly, and assign family members as the “Inheritors” of these by entering their email addresses.
A chosen family must alert the site when you’re no longer around; for all of this to be set in action. This is done so by logging in under credentials you’ve given them beforehand.
No one likes to think of worst-case scenarios; life isn’t always something we can control. But taking a proactive step to make the best out of a bad situation is something that is in your control.
Start thinking about password sharing now, the services are very easy to use and save your family from needless fretting when a stressful situation occurs in the future.