New 1Password feature lets you share passwords with a link

13 Oct 2021

Image: 1Password

A new password tool gives users a way to share login credentials securely, which could be particularly beneficial to remote workers.

The need to share passwords at work is a common occurrence. In an office, this might have taken place on scraps of paper that were then immediately destroyed after use. But with many workforces now communicating remotely, sharing passwords securely is a little more complicated.

Now, password manager 1Password has released a new feature that could make sharing passwords and other secure files easier and more secure.

Future Human

The new password secure sharing tool, aptly named Psst!, will allow 1Password users to share passwords via a link.

Crucially, the recipients do not have to be 1Password users to receive the link, and the sender can set a time for the link to expire.

The company’s chief product officer, Akshay Bhargava, explained in a blogpost that when recipients open the link that has been shared with them in their web browser, they’ll see one of two things.

“If I’ve allowed anyone to view the link, they’ll be taken directly to a web view of the shared item. If I’ve specified the people I want to share with, they’ll be asked to input their email address. When they do, they’ll receive an email with a one-time verification code,” he said.

“Once they paste that code into the required field, they’ll see the web view of the shared item exactly as it exists in 1Password.”

While a 1Password account isn’t required to receive the secure links, Bhargava added that those who do have an account will have the additional option to save a copy of the item into one of their own password manager vaults.

‘People are sharing secrets like passwords and API keys through insecure methods’

Sharing passwords online may sound counterproductive to security, but Bhargava pointed out that people are already using unsecured channels such as email and chat to share sensitive information.

“We know that at home and at work, people are sharing secrets like passwords and API keys through insecure methods,” he said. “At work, the problem is compounded by the vast amounts of data at stake, but insecure sharing remains common.”

The company’s own research found that 48pc of businesses use a shared document or spreadsheet to store and manage enterprise details such as passwords, security keys or credentials, and almost 60pc have shared these via email.

This, combined with the vast string of major data leaks and cyberattacks in recent months, highlights the importance of sharing passwords securely along with continuing to practise good security hygiene.

“If we’re already using [insecure] channels to share sensitive items, let’s make it secure to do so. Let’s make the easy thing to do the secure thing to do,” said Bhargava.

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Jenny Darmody is the deputy editor of Silicon Republic