Your Child Needs A Password Manager


If your child uses a computer for school work, you may be surprised by the number of websites that require him to log on. Many schools rely on Google apps. You probably have a school intranet with a required log-in, such as a Blackboard site, and each textbook publisher has their own website with username and password required. This is before your child starts using other educational websites or online research sites.

Most students whom I have worked with like to use their browser's automated "remember this password" feature to cope with remembering usernames and passwords. This works ok as long as they always use the same browser on the same device to access the website. It becomes more challenging to pull off if multiple family members have different log-ins for the same website on the same device. The plan also becomes vulnerable when a teacher provides log-in information at the beginning of the school year that a child may misplace before accessing the website weeks or months later. Unfortunately, when usernames and passwords do get misplaced there are several commonly used educational websites where users cannot reset their own log-ins, as they can with consumer websites; the intervention of a teacher is required, which can prevent students from starting on assignments during after-school hours.

One of the best ways to circumvent password problems before they come up and delay school work is to invest in a password manager. One that I've loved for my personal use is LastPass. You can get a one-device license for free or pay $48 for an annual family premium membership for up to six people. The premium membership allows for unlimited devices and for members of the same plan to share passwords with each other. LastPass will automatically log a user on to websites when it in installed on a computer. It can also be used as an app on mobile devices where users can launch websites with log-in information pre-filled directly from the app or copy and paste usernames and passwords from the app. The peace of mind and time savings are fantastic for all computer users but particularly wonderful for anyone who has experienced organizational challenges. If you're not sure whether a password manager is for you, you might try a free version and upgrade later if you find yourself or your family members getting use out of this tool.

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