Should you share your online passwords with your significant other?


Image courtesy of Gualberto107/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Gualberto107/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Relationships need a solid foundation to survive. Love, in my opinion, equals trust, loyalty, respect, and appreciation. But where does privacy fit in?  Would you hand the key to your personal diary to someone you love? Would you give your significant other the password to your online accounts such as Facebook?

I believe that people are entitled to their privacy. With the invention of the Internet came a whole new meaning to the word privacy. Or lack of privacy. I have seen email addresses, Facebook accounts, and several other social media accounts that are shared by couples. I know of couples who allow for the sharing of their passwords. If that is acceptable by both then that is their business. There really is no right or wrong answer to the question of sharing online passwords as everyone has the right to their own personal preference.

But for me, privacy is a big issue. I believe all people are entitled to it and should be allowed it, if they so choose. I am a mother to grown children and not once did I ever snoop around their bedrooms, read folded letters that I found in pockets while sorting laundry, or listened to conversations that I was not part of. I have never gone through the wallet of anyone that I have ever been in a relationship with. And I expect the same treatment.

My decision to keep all passwords to myself has nothing to do with being deceitful and everything to do with trust. I am trustworthy! When I am in a relationship I am committed and dedicated. I have never cheated on anyone in my whole life! I can actually talk to men and not have some hidden agenda to be with them. I wouldn’t want my significant other to follow me around at work so that he could listen to every conversation that I had and I certainly wouldn’t want him reading my email!

If love equals trust, as in believing a person is trustworthy, why should passwords matter?
If love equals loyalty, as in believing a person is faithful, why should passwords matter?
If love equals respect, as in honoring a person’s privacy, why should passwords matter?
If love equals appreciation, as in being grateful for the relationship you have, why should passwords matter?

I guess what it all boils down to, with me, is that I believe that when I am in a relationship I want that person to take me at face value. I need to feel I am trusted. I don’t feel the need to have someone’s password and I think I would question the motives of anyone who would ask for mine.

What do you think? Should the words “share my passwords” be part of the wedding vows? Should you be entitled to the passwords of the one you love? Or should that secret phrase, of letters, numbers, and symbols be strictly confidential?

27 thoughts on “Should you share your online passwords with your significant other?

  1. I agree with everything you say. Both my husband and I are trustworthy and trust each other, and neither of us snoop into anything the other is doing. However, we do share passwords – but only to help each other with something, not to snoop. And even then, we don’t use it unless it’s something the other asks us to do.

    • Hi Lynn. I agree, there are times when a person might share their password, such as the example you mentioned. But if someone needs a password as a way of checking up on someone I don’t think that is right.

  2. For me I need my privacy because ie blogging is a part of me or the way I show myself through words online and I’m also quite possessive of having that for just me? We all need a bit of ‘it’s mine’ about things I think. That’s how I work anyway my thing is I have every password put somewhere so that if I died or family really wanted to they could find it but I don’t leave it on a post it note 🙂

    • I also have my passwords put away in case something were to happen to me. When I was married I did not share my passwords. My children used to tell me that when I was out at the store my ex would sit at the computer and try to figure out my password in hopes of getting into my account. What a slap in the face that is, especially to someone who wasn’t doing anything! But you know what they say about people who can’t trust….they are the ones who can’t be trusted. I’ve also heard horror stories from people who trusted enough to share their passwords.

  3. Great post. I tend to keep all my passwords to myself, unless someone needs to get in for a valid reason. Then I might change the password. I do, however, have a lot of my fiance’s passwords because he’s not very good on the computer and often has me go in and do things for his accounts. I think it should be up to the individual and if someone insists on having your passwords, that’s when I’d really say, “no!” Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Jeanne. Always nice to see you! I have actually had to give someone my password to check something and I did just as you did, I changed the password right after…lol Thank you for stopping by!

  4. Great post. My thinking goes in the opposite direction, however.
    If I was with someone who I didn’t want my passwords given to,
    that would be a flag for myself early in the relationship.
    I would be wondering why I didn’t trust them, even if at that time
    in our relationship sharing things like that might not be appropriate.

    If the relationship progressed where I was thinking of saying “I do”
    and I still didn’t want him access to my passwords, then
    I don’t trust him enough for me to marry him.

    Having joint accounts or separate accounts or whatever is fine,
    but if I was afraid to give my significant other my password,
    then we probably have bigger problems.

    I have times where I don’t want my husband to see my writing early on,
    but he is unconcerned about what I don’t want him to see, as am I.
    It is usually for a surprise or raw writing and neither of us is the type to care.
    Everything is left in plain sight on my desk . . .

    Again, this is just for me. I don’t want to be with someone whom I
    am hiding anything from, and my husband feels the same way.
    If that is the case, then I don’t want to live with him, don’t want to be
    with him, because there si something there that is wrong.
    We both have previously been with people who were NOT trustworthy,
    so this is 15 years and counting of trustworthiness . . .

    • You made some great points! After reading your comment I think that a part of my not sharing passwords has been due to gut feelings. In the long run my gut feeling has always been right! Thank you for you reading and commenting on my blog.

      • Glad to. One more thing. Trust and gut feelings are a telling issue for me. Long story I will make very short. Previous marriage, there were several odd areas where I didn’t trust him, and none of them were a big deal, but they were consistent, and we argued about those issues. I realized that I didn’t have those issues with other people in my life — which I found odd. I didn’t questions it, and thot it was a quirk. After he died, I found out he was cheating on me with everything in a skirt. THAT I never felt untrustworthy about. so, now when I find a pattern of odd untrustworthy feelings in one of my relationships I pay attention, and try ot figure out what this is telling me. Intuition is underrated.

  5. I didn’t vote, because we don’t share passwords, but we would, if need be. If he needs my passwords, he knows the locale and vice versa. I think trust is essential, and I guess I don’t need privacy from my husband, or him from me, but things are mine or his when it comes to online sites. He does occasionally need the password for Amazon, and it’s easier just to hand him my entire laptop!
    I think when you feel you’ve got good communication with someone, be it a spouse, or a child, or a friend, you don’t need to snoop. No reason to think anything is being hidden, no reason to look. At least, that’s my two cents.

  6. Pingback: Plucking Of My Heartstrings One Year Anniversary | Plucking Of My Heartstrings

  7. The actual answer for me is “some.” I keep all my passwords in LastPass, and Mary has the master password to that, in case something happens to me, but I don’t include the passwords to websites she wouldn’t be interested in.

    My passwords to places like the bank, the insurance company, credit card companies etc. are strings of unrelated characters. I allowed LastPass to generate them, and as a rule allow it to populate password fields, so as a rule even I don’t know what those passwords are…

      • Best way to find out is to go to their website and look around, because I don’t think I could do it justice. For me, it automatically populates user ID and password fields when I go to a site I’ve already saved, and if it isn’t saved it offers to save it. Your passwords are kept in a password-protected vault that’s available from any browser (there are plugins for almost every browser). I like it; I can use it to set up hard-to-guess passwords and don’t have to know what the password is.

  8. My wife does not use any social media at all, and I only have Twitter, which she has no interest in, but she access to all of my passwords. All of our other web site accounts are all separate, but we had access to each other’s passwords if needed. We share everything, but don’t snoop on each other. I have nothing to hide, so I don’t need to keep anything “private” . The only time I will keep something private from her is if I am buying a gift, say on Amazon, and I will tell her to stay off my iPad amazon account. She knows that I don’t want her to see what I got. She won’t snoop to see what I got, but she ever did, that’s her issue. I have nothing to hide. I agree that their are parts of our lives we keep separate and individual, but we don’t keep it “private” from each other. We are married, sworn to share our lives until the other dies. We share everything. All of our accounts are joint. We have total and complete trust in each other. IMHO, if you have to keep something secret from your spouse, or vice versa, then there is not 100% trust there. People have told me that they can never have all their accounts joint with their spouse and think I’m crazy, or naive. My response? You married the wrong person.

    • I think you hit the nail on the head when you used the word “snoop.” When I receive or send email to family and friends it’s private, unless I decide to share. Someone might write and tell me some sort of problem that they don’t want anyone to know. If someone feels the need to “snoop” then I think the problem is with them. My ex-husband was always snooping and when he would find out something he would tell his mother and sister and they would sit around and gossip about it. That’s the reason I did not share my password. Maybe if he had been the right person for me I wouldn’t have hesitated to share.

  9. Your poll needs a “sometimes” option. LOL. I sometimes share my passwords for things with spouse and child, but only when they’ve needed it for something, like to find an email or share a document or something. But I have changed a password and not given them the new one in the case of things like Facebook because they pranked something and I took away their privileges.

    I agree that you shouldn’t be expected to share everything, and if you trust someone you don’t need to. But sometimes, it’s not about privacy or trust so much as convenience. All those shades of grey makes black and white answers impossible for me.

    • I actually knew someone who lost their MySpace account because their child wrote something they shouldn’t have. I have given my password to my kids for certain situations (and then changed the password..lol)

      • When I taught a social media class (and this was before Facebook had their new legacy thing) I told them all to put together a list of all their logins and passwords for the various sites and put it in an envelope with directions on what to do with said sites (deactivate, post a goodbye update, whatever), mark it DO NOT OPEN UNLESS I AM IN A COMA OR DEAD and give it to the one person they trusted most in the world. The whole “hit by the bus” plan. But beyond that, keep it to yourself. Much safer that way.

        • Never thought of putting passwords in an envelope with directions. That’s a good idea! I bet there are some people who have passed away and their family can’t get into their accounts to delete them.

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