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bad or good practice (emergency kit stored in 1pw / master password stored in 1pw)

dear all,

I am often asked if "self contained credentials" are good or bad practice.
my answer always is:

if you have at least 2 devices that are synced all the time and if possible also opened by biometrics having emergency kit and or master password within your private fault can be an option. I personally would feel safe with at least 3 devices. if everything breaks you always can recover anyway.

do you think this self containment is good or bad practice?

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  • ag_tommyag_tommy

    Team Member


    I take much the same path, but I was once upon a time into rappelling, and the old adage was to make your anchor bomb-proof. I continue to live by that today. That was the rule of three (will keep you alive to see another day). I, however, would be utterly lost if something catastrophic happened. So I built upon it. Here is my setup.

    1. Multiple devices. Macs, Phones, etc., much like you, for my day-to-day needs.
    2. An additional admin on my family account for recovery if I should ever need it. Also, for estate planning needs.
    3. Local to me, printed copy of my Emergency Kit.
    4. Printed Emergency Kit off-site with a trusted relative.
    5. Print Emergency Kit in a bank safe deposit box.

    That said, totally self-contained would not be something I would use. I am very much a what if, guy. It has kept me safe for many years. I would highly recommend expanding on the approach you use now. Again, this is my personal opinion no company hat on here. I'd much rather be pre-paired. Think of natural disasters as one instance of where this could occur. A hurricane could obliterate any or all three devices. If I have a physical copy in some fashion, my chances of getting back into my data are greater. For me, I'll always want something like a printed copy. Call me old school (which I am). It has served me well for a great many decades now.

    Another added benefit of off-site storage is estate planning. This cannot be encouraged enough. I can speak from personal experience with a relative of mine. Recovery is the primary reason I bypassed an individual account all those years ago, and went straight to the family. I know relatives can access my Emergency Kit if needed, and it will not be locked behind a passcode/biometrics which they'll likely not know.

    Company hat back on; occasionally, we hear stories of how folks have lost their access. It's always heart breaking. I would recommend adding considerations to your plan.

  • Christian_XYZRChristian_XYZR
    Community Member
    edited October 2022

    Good point Thank you!

  • eingfoaneingfoan
    Community Member


    I will adjust my answer.
    I generally get this question from co workers (normal 1pw users no Admins) but I did forget many of them will be family admins as well.
    So I will differentiate my answer into:

    1pw Admins / Family Admins. Where printed backups are „a must.“
    1pw normal users where self containment is an option.

  • ag_tommyag_tommy

    Team Member


    Fair points. As it stands now, I trust my IT team in emergency situations for my work account. I have my work account on my devices, so the rule of three is accurate. I have one local Emergency Kit. Other than that, I rely on the IT team to help if I should ever need it. They act as the admin (recovery). I'll always recommend an Emergency Kit. I can't tell you how many times over the years I have typed my password (way too many times to count or even think about). One day, not long ago, I sat down to log into my account, and my brain was not having it. A total blank on my part. I pulled out the Emergency Kit, and away I went. It is an integral part of the process. If I had not had that, I would have had to contact IT and undergo a recovery process, and who knows how long that would have taken. For me, the Emergency Kit is of paramount importance, even with an IT team.

    In the last 15 years, I have seen 1Password go from its beginnings to what it is now. If something comes along that works better for recovery or lock-outs, I'll re-evaluate 100%. This type of potential problem (lost access) is one of the things that keeps the 1Password team up at night.

    In your situation, you might be good with the data aspect on three devices and an IT team behind you. Just don't forget that human component! The brain is a fickle beast, and only you know your password.

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