Password Security: Why Parents Should Use a Password Manager With Their Kids

By Rebecca Paredes
August 3, 2023
Parents smiling at daughter in kitchen

How do you manage your child’s passwords? Are they scattered on scraps of paper, saved on your kid’s phone, or reused on multiple sites? While these methods are convenient, they aren’t necessarily safe or secure. In the digital age, one of the most significant challenges parents face is ensuring their kids stay safe online. The best password manager for families is one that's convenient, easy to use, and secure. Here’s how a password manager can help you protect your child’s digital journey.

What is a password manager?

Also known as a password book, a password manager is a digital tool that securely stores passwords in one place. You can find password managers in web browsers, such as Safari and Google Chrome. They’re also available through online tools and apps, such as LastPass and the Password Vault located in the BrightCanary app

How do password managers work?

Password managers store your passwords in an encrypted form, which ensures they’re only accessible to you. You only need to remember one master password to unlock your password vault, which gives you access to all your other passwords. 

For example, parents who use BrightCanary set a code to unlock their Password Vault and access their child’s saved passwords. You can also use Apple Face ID to unlock the Password Vault, which makes reviewing and managing your child’s logins even easier.

Some password managers automatically save and fill passwords in the appropriate login fields. For example, Google Chrome suggests, saves, and auto-fills secure passwords when you’re logged into your Google account.

Other password managers, like BrightCanary’s Password Vault, simply store passwords in one place. It’s like an ultra-secure notebook — when your child creates a new account, just add their username and password to the Password Vault in the BrightCanary app. 

Benefits of a password manager

Even if you feel like you have a good handle on your passwords, it’s helpful for parents to keep track of their child’s logins with a password manager. Here’s why:

  • Keep track of your child’s online accounts: It may seem like a new social platform pops up every week. Storing your child’s logins in a password manager helps you understand what platforms your child uses — and makes it easier for you to help them log back into their account if they lose their password.
  • Ensure your child is using secure passwords: It’s tempting to reuse passwords (or, in the case of TikTok, not use a password at all). But in order to keep your child’s personal information safe, they should use a strong password that’s difficult for someone to guess — and it should be different on each platform. Using a password manager helps give you that oversight and ensure their passwords are as secure as possible. 
  • Talk to your child about online safety and responsibility: Kids shouldn’t have to learn how to navigate the internet on their own. Asking your child to share their passwords with you is an opportunity to approach online safety as a partnership. Let them know that you aren’t interested in prying into every single thing they do online, but you do want to help them learn how to navigate challenging situations. Having access to their online accounts is part of that partnership. 

Downsides of a password manager

A password manager definitely has its perks, but there are some downsides to consider before you start using one:

  • Master password vulnerability: Password managers are usually unlocked with a master password (yes, you need a password for your passwords). But if the master password is forgotten or compromised, it can lead to a lot of headaches. You can mitigate this risk by using two-factor authentication or face ID to access your passwords.
  • Software vulnerabilities: While password managers are generally safe, no software is entirely immune to vulnerabilities. If a password manager gets hacked, it could expose stored passwords. Select a platform with a strong reputation for security and encryption to reduce this risk. 
  • Over-reliance: If your tween or teen uses a password manager that auto-fills their logins, they may not remember any of their passwords at all. That’s why it’s a good idea for parents to keep track of their kids’ logins — if your kid forgets their password or can’t access their password manager, you can save the day. 

Are password managers safe?

Password managers are safe if they encrypt your information, which means it’s coded in a way that makes it nearly impossible for anyone to access without the master password. For example, BrightCanary and 1Password use military-grade encryption to protect your data. 

Why would you use a password manager instead of just writing your passwords down on a piece of paper? Physical records are susceptible to being lost or stolen, especially if you travel with your password book. If you were to lose your phone, someone would need to know your master password in order to unlock your vault; in comparison, a scrap of paper is easy to misplace. 

It’s also much harder to manage and update a paper list as compared to a digital Password Vault. Whether it’s on your phone or on your desktop, a password manager allows you to review, update, and add or remove passwords with just a few taps. 

Best password managers for families

Screenshots of BrightCanary Password Vault

You may be familiar with password managers such as 1Password and LastPass. These tools are strong, secure, and offer robust features like auto-filling passwords and even storing credit card information.

But when it comes to the best password managers for families, BrightCanary’s Password Vault tops the list because it combines the safety and security of a password manager with the robust online monitoring features you expect from BrightCanary. 

With BrightCanary, you can monitor your child’s online activity on YouTube, Google, Instagram, and TikTok. The Password Vault is located directly within the BrightCanary app, which means you can log your child’s passwords and review what they’re watching and searching for — all in one place. 

Your child’s login information is always protected, encrypted, and anonymized. Plus, the Password Vault is as simple as it is secure: just set your master passcode, add your child’s login information for popular platforms such as Discord and Roblox, and go. 

The bottom line

It’s pretty normal to have a variety of online accounts. That means password management is a necessity — but keeping track of your passwords and your child’s can be a hassle. That’s one of the reasons BrightCanary’s Password Vault is so convenient: you can keep your child’s passwords in the same app you use to monitor their online activity. Nothing beats being prepared, and that includes keeping tabs on your child’s online safety. To start using the Password Vault today, download BrightCanary in the App Store.

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