Share your passwords before you cannot

Have a plan in place

Over the past few years I've recognized time and again that with the exhausting number of accounts I have with various companies, closing them down and managing them after my death or incapacitation would be a large burden on my family.

I've been searching for a solution I was comfortable with. Some probably include a master password with their will or held by their lawyer, perhaps others in a safe deposit box. I wanted something that didn't involve use of a 3rd party organization or company, whether online or in the physical world.

My solution only involves a little bit of setup and minimum of 2 trusted people.

  • Place all of your passwords into a text document (encrypted) or into something that just requires a master password to open (lastpass, keepass etc).
  • Generate 2 long password strings. One will be for each of your trusted people.
  • Use something like 7-zip to wrap/encrypt your passwords file with one of the above generated passwords. 7-zip is simple enough to create an encrypted .7z file.
  • Follow the previous step again, this time encrypting the already encrypted file with the second password.
  • Send this doubly encrypted file to your 2 trusted people.
  • Now send 1 password to each of your people. Use a different means than the way you sent the encrypted file. I recommend secureshareme.com, or secretlymeet.me.
  • Instruct them to keep the file and password secure. Ideally in their own secure password file (keepass, lastpass etc).

Now when the time comes that they need access to your passwords, they both will be required to cooperate. You can add as many other people to this process as you want for your situation.

Remember to use a large (25+) and random string of characters for each of the passwords used to lock the file. Do not use something small and memorable, this prevents brute force attacks. You'll be sharing this file with others, so if their computer is compromised, you don't want your passwords vulnerable.

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