Sharing passwords to different accounts may sound like a complete sign of trust between partners. But unfortunately it is also a massive security risk. While sharing passwords may seem like a romantic gesture to do something like this, think carefully about whether it’s the right thing to do and, if so, how you’ll share your passwords securely.
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Don’t share passwords for absolutely everything
Passwords are for protecting your accounts, and some passwords are for you and only you to know. This isn’t necessarily about distrusting your spouse or partner (although some healthy distrust and having your back sometimes doesn’t hurt either, because no one tells the complete truth all the time, everywhere), but it’s also a security risk when someone else knows your password. You can be damn careful to keep your password safe, but your spouse may not have to deal with security as much, or simply isn’t as tech-savvy, so they have no idea where dangers and attackers may be lurking to get at passwords. So the password will be handled carelessly, even though the intent, for example, was not bad at all.
Thus, the mistrust might not stem from the fact that you simply don’t trust the partner, but that there are 2 points at once from which the password can leak, which simply increases the risk of a password leak. In terms of your absolute key passwords, i.e. for banking, email or social media, for example, only you should really know the password, even if you have full trust in your partner/co, for example.
Sometimes sharing passwords and accounts makes sense
Clearly, sometimes it is a purely practical matter. If you share a Netflix account, a Saveto account, or have other shared services such as a joint bank account, then you both need to know the password so that you can log in comfortably. You can come up with a new password that doesn’t relate in any way to your other passwords. That way you can use different services both without compromising the security of your other passwords, which no one really has to know except you.
Sometimes it doesn’t matter who you share passwords with, but how
Have you decided that sharing your passwords makes sense? Now you need to think about how you’re going to do it. Similar to sharing and passing on passwords at work, you need to be careful. Some channels can be just plain wrong and completely inappropriate, as it’s very easy to get passwords from them. You should definitely avoid:
- Sending via Email – not unless you pay for a service that provides the emails
- Chat apps – you never really know who can look at your conversation or whether the encryption is really trustworthy and secure
- Password on paper – NO, NO and for the third time NO. A password on paper can be seen by anyone and the paper needs to be taken away. If you don’t know perfectly well how to dispose of the paper securely afterwards, or that no one will see the password, then avoid this method altogether
- Verbally – a bit better, but in public there is a risk that someone will overhear you
So how do you pass on the password?
Very convenient is the use of password managers. Not only do they store passwords, but there’s also the option to share passwords securely in encrypted form, and even the creators of these managers don’t know what passwords you’re really using.
In addition to the ability to share passwords, you can also securely store all your passwords, take advantage of the random password generator, and keep your accounts safe and secure by having all your passwords accessed by you and only you with your one really strong password.