Best Password Manager for Families (2023): What Parents Need to Know

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January 19, 2023

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Unlock this lesson to learn what you can do to keep your passwords safe!

This password manager guide will help parents learn:

  • Why password managers are important to your digital safety
  • Why parents should care about password protection
  • Tips to keep student safe while using password managers

Learn why parents and educators should care about password managers

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Table of Contents

With nearly every app or website requiring unique and complex passwords, remembering these passwords can be daunting for many people.  Cybercrime is frequently in the news and one of the top tips to avoid being compromised is to never re-use passwords for different logins.  Many parents wonder if there is a safe way to store all the different passwords for their family.  

In this SmartSocial resource parents will learn:

  1. What is a password manager
  2. How do password managers work and why it's important to protect our passwords and personal information
  3. What is the best password manager for families

Parent & educator Overview video

(This parent and educator video is best to be shown to adults)

What you’ll learn in this video lesson

(Click on the three lines or a blue dot in video progress bar to skip to a chapter)

  1. Why should parents care about password management?
  2. What is ransomware?
  3. What is a password manager?
  4. Benefits of a password manager
  5. Are password managers safe?
  6. What can parents do?
  7. Why choose Dashlane?

What is a password manager?

  • A password manager creates and stores unique passwords securely in a password vault for every website or social media account you have
  • When you use a password manager, you create a single “master” password (that you remember) to access the manager and then the manager creates and stores the rest
  • ~Your master password should NEVER be used to login to any other site
  • When installed on your browser or device, a password manager can automatically fill out forms with your login information, or you can look up and copy the password easily 
  • Personal information such as your name, address, phone number, and credit card details can also be stored in most password managers for easy access or autofill options
  • recommends Dashlane as a family password manager, but there are often options already installed on your device (like Google Password Manager or iCloud Keychain) or additional downloads/websites with paid or free password managers for families

Why should parents care about password management?

  • 80% of hacking related data breaches are linked to passwords (Source: Comparitech)
  • Using the same password for all of your accounts can make it very easy for hackers to access ALL of your information when they get that one similar password
  • Research says individuals have an average of 38-70 online accounts they must create a login and password for (Sources: Web tribunal and Secureframe)
  • Hackers find databases of hacked logins on the web, and continually try your email+reused password combination on hundreds of other major sites to see if they can get into those as well
  • Using a unique password for each account means that hackers can only get access to that one service but not get access to the other accounts
  • The best password has at least 12 characters, a mix of upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special symbols, and doesn't contain your personal information (Source: Cybernews)
  • Using unique passwords and a password manager to help remember all your logins drastically reduces the possibility of your family becoming the victims  of ransomware, identity theft, malware, phishing, and other cyber attacks 
  • Many managers allow family sharing so students can share their social media, video game, and other logins with parents easily
  • Many password managers will alert you if a password is too basic, reused, or found in many of the hacker databases. They often make it easy to change a password on  a compromised account without hackers getting access to other accounts or personal information

What is ransomware?

  • Ransomware is a type of malicious software that holds your personal digital data for ransom
  • If you are affected by ransomware, you often cannot gain access to your personal data, without paying a fine to whoever has hacked your account
  • Ransomware is often disguised as a file in an email
  • The bad guys want you to think“I’m not rich or famous, I don’t have anything the bad guys would want to steal” but your banking/credit card information and personal information are important to safeguard 
  • Hackers will steal contact lists to impersonate you and email ransomware to all of your contacts to infect their computers
  • Another strategy of hackers is to lock you out of all your digital photos until you pay the ransom 

Benefits of having a password manager

  • A password manager stores and encrypts all your passwords 
  • Creating strong and unique passwords can be difficult (especially if you have a lot of passwords) but a password manager can auto-generate passwords that are more likely to be safe and secure
  • Password managers can be shared across families and will store passwords for everyone’s individual logins and passwords
  • The best password managers sync across multiple  devices and operating systems, so you don’t have to worry about typing long passwords with the little keyboard on your cell phone
  • Many password managers will auto-fill online forms with your saved data (even on your mobile devices)
  • Some family password managers may offer dark web monitoring as another method to keep you and your family's personal information secure
  • Many companies will offer a family plan to help make password sharing with your family members easy and safe

Password managers in the news

The main benefit of using a password manager is that you need to remember only one password, instead of dozens, to access all of your accounts. But the one password you do need to keep track of—your master password—must be a good one. - Wirecutter (NY Times Company)
It may not be glamorous, but the majority of cybercrime activity is exacted on small businesses and individuals who don't take the threat seriously, thinking it would never happen to them. - Forbes
That master password must be especially strong and complex and certainly should never be used elsewhere, but almost half of the password manager users hit by identity theft used their master password for other accounts. - TechRepublic

What can parents do?

  • Consider setting up a password manager for your family
  • Teach your children to follow security best practices, such as:
  • ~Never use the same password across multiple accounts
  • ~Only log into websites that start with “https”
  • ~Avoid using personal information in your passwords, instead create long passwords with unique characters
  • ~Keep your passwords private and never share them with your best friend
  • ~If you don’t have a password manager, write all of your passwords on a sheet of paper, seal it in an envelope, and give it to your parents for safe keeping
  • With all password managers, the most important thing you can do to protect your family's passwords is to create a very unique and difficult master password and never share it with anyone

Why choose Dashlane?

  • SmartSocial's recommendation for the best family password manager is Dashlane
  • Dashlane offers a free version and subscription options to suit your family's needs and has a mobile app to use on your smartphone and browser extensions to add to your desktop
  • We recommend setting up multi factor authentication when setting up your Dashlane account as an added layer of protection
  • The free version is slightly limited in features and won't work for all of your family members to share passwords, but the paid subscriptions, including a family plan, offer many desirable features that we think are important in a quality password manager:
  • ~Unlimited password storage
  • ~Password generator
  • ~Dark web monitoring
  • ~Save and auto-fill credit card details and other personal data
  • ~Optional virtual private network

How to change your passwords using Dashlane

Smart Social recommends the password manager Dashlane. You can get your first six months free by using this link below.

Get 6 Months Free On Dashlane When You Use This Link


While many families don’t think they have anything worth “hacking” - that couldn’t be further from the truth. If your family doesn’t already use a password manager, now is a great time to start.

Additional resources

Tips for Becoming a Cyber-Savvy Parent or Educator

Cybersecurity Tips for Families & Schools

Cyber Safety, Smartphones, and… Garfield?

Family Media Dialogue Guide and Agreement Templates

Listen to MomTalk podcast and hear Beth and Rachel discuss password managers

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