A dash of Pepper…

…with a splash of Mint

Password sharing anyone?

Posted by Pepper on February 28, 2011

If there was one thing I was absolutely uncomfortable doing, it was sharing passwords. Especially, when it came to personal email accounts. I remember a friend of mine telling me at 16, that she had shared her password with her boyfriend. I gasped! Either change your password, or your boyfriend, I told her. Why would anyone in their rightful mind share passwords? She said it was cute. I say it isn’t.

Over the years, my Gmail inbox has witnessed the exchange of many private emails. Saved chat conversations hold confessions trustingly made by many friends. Some official emails carefully guard other confidential and sensitive data. Divulging my password is akin to handing you the key to my personal wealth. Agreed, there is a lot of junk buried in there. But if you dig deep, you will have access to all my treasure. And I really do not see any reason to grant you that access.

And then at one point in our relationship, Mint shared his password with me. His mailbox, like most others was full of confidential data as well. But he said he trusted me, we were in a committed relationship and he had nothing to hide. That made me feel a tad guilty for not revealing my own password to him. It isn’t like I had anything to hide from him. And yes, I trusted him blindly. But the whole idea made me feel a little too exposed and vulnerable. So I let go of the guilt and held on to my password. Besides, he never ever questioned me, and so it didn’t bother either of us.

More importantly, I thought password sharing was not the ideal thing to do. Because this was not about me. This was about other people who trust that only I will be reading their mail.

I don’t really know what changed over time, but that feeling of vulnerability disappeared. Here was a guy I bared myself to, be it my heart, my body, my mind, or my whole soul self. Password stopped being such a big deal. So at one point, I did end up sharing my password with Mint. Because it became a matter of convenience. If he is online and I am elsewhere, he’ll log in to my account to print that ticket for me and bring it along. Or if I am close to the comp and he is out, he’ll call me and ask me to open a particular mail, and give him the details. The address and the number mentioned in that mail are then spelt out to him on phone. Like I said, this was a matter of convenience for both of us. Beside that, I know that he will NEVER ever open my inbox without reason, just to meddle around without my knowledge. I trust him enough to know that mails are never being read, chat conversations are never being opened, it is never about keeping track of what I am up to. If at all he’s curious to know something, he’ll ask me and we’ll open the mail together.

Some years ago I read a post written by a friend of Mint in which she talks about the same issue of sharing passwords. She seemed rather surprised to find out that a lot of couples did not share passwords. At that time, I was surprised that she actually believed most couples shared passwords. I feel differently now. But I am curious to know how most people operate. Do any of you share passwords? Why? Or why not? Go on and tell me!


55 Responses to “Password sharing anyone?”

  1. Comfy said

    We know each other’s password. It never was ever an explicit ‘Here let me give you my password’. Was more like, I am in a mess somewhere..give him a call..can you open my email and find that information for me. As you said it was a matter of convenience. It happened overtime.

    Having said that, I never open his email unless he asks me to. And I know he does the same. And then there are times when I am going through my emails and find an email he send me before we got married. Then we both sit with our emails open, reading each other emails and making fun of how kiddish we were. 🙂

  2. {Psst: Confession – forget email passwords. I know AB’s online banking details. He doesn’t know mine 😉
    Hey, I am a good girl :P}

    About email passwords – we know each other’s not because its cute, not because its convenient. Just like that… Prolly out of the trust that we both don’t like to pry and proof-read each other’s chats or emails.

    • Pepper said

      You know it might sound strange but I would share my bank account passwords a lot more easily than my personal mail accounts..:)
      Yeah, we trust that our mail will never be opened for the purpose of spying and thats what makes it so easy..

  3. Hmmm…such a lot of thought behind password 🙂 Well, hubby and I know each other’s passwords but don’t ever use it, unless expressly asked by the other to do so!! I think its important to have a backup, you know, if something goes wrong, someone needs access. Its like having a duplicate key to your house, you only give it to very trustworthy people 🙂

    On the other hand, I hate it when people at work places share passwords, because the info is so darn confidential. There was this one time, when I walked into a bank to close an account, and the girls behind the counter kept grumbling to their manager, saying they had shared passwords, so the girl who was supposed to ‘authorise’ a transaction could not do so because her colleague had used her ID/password to actually ‘make’ the txn. I was shocked that people could discuss such a breach of integrity so openly and stupidly!! I was in half a mind to go and report it, but left it at that. I think the Manager atleast should have had more sense.

    • Pepper said

      You’re right! It actually is like having a duplicate key to your house..
      Wait. People at work places share passwords? They’re stupid, thats all.

  4. R's Mom said

    Password shared with hubby only for the advantages as stated by you…printing, quick viewing blah blah blah..but like Mint I am sure he doesntcheck any of my mails or anything…and honestly Pepper, my in box is full of junk even if he did want to see anything spicy..kuch milega nahi 😉 and yes even I have his password 🙂

  5. Chatterbox said

    I am with you on sharing all passwords with my hubby 😛
    It is indeed a matter of convenience and when we are bonded by a relation based on love and trust, there can never be a point of worry.
    Be it e-mail passwords or even bank accounts, I and hubby share ’em all 😀 😀 😀

  6. bikram said

    Wish I had read this post earler. Yes some things are personal I am no sayin I dud not share but on hindsight I shud not have. I leart a lot is secrets. Which resulted in problems but now I dont share for my personal stuff. As you say my email too holds a lot of dark secrets
    Fully agree no password exchange.

  7. Ashwathy said

    I think the point that both people have different passwords, but dont really require to know each other’s since they trust each other implicitly is the best example. It’s like u r part of a whole, but ultimately two different individuals too, so whats the problem?
    Having said that, I know my fiance’s password. I never asked, he told me coz he wanted me to login and check some email of his. Likewise, I would have told him mine too, but there’s no reason to…YET atleast.

    But I think if couples do not share passwords purposely and wish to keep parts of their lives away from each other…then hmm…I am not too sure…?

    • Pepper said

      Yes, telling your other half openly that password sharing is something you don’t want do also reflects your comfort level.. And yes, you needn’t tell him your password unless there is need. The point is, you are willing to if need arises..

      And I don’t think it is a big deal if couples wanna keep a part of their lives away from each other either 🙂

      • Ashwathy said

        I don’t know then… the second scenario is a lil uncomfortable for me…where couples are deliberately not sharing coz htey have something to hide, or worse, becoz they fear their partner would snoop thru their mails. Both are not great situations.

        • Pepper said

          I am with you. Personally, I am totally against couples keeping anything away from each other. There should be complete transparency between them.

          At the same time, I wouldn’t judge couples who prefer to not share their passwords. Then we get into the whole issue of ‘personal space’, and each person defines it differently. For some, it might mean keeping a part of their online life separate.

  8. Swaram said

    No we both don’t. Of our mails and such things alteast.
    Yes, we do share a few of our bank accounts’ ones etc..

  9. Netcracker said

    Big No NO! Passwd is a confidential info, not to be shared with anyone especially girlfriends

  10. Tanishka said

    I have not shared my password with anyone so far for the same reasons and thought that i would never do it but after reading your post i think i too might end up sharing my password someday 😀 😀

  11. Titaxy said

    I don’t see it as a big deal either way. To each his own 😀

  12. Roop Rai said

    share, yes. just like you. for the sake of convenience. and yes, neither of us goes interrogating into each other’s accounts either. it works just fine.

  13. revsjoiedevivre said

    Okay, in your comments space, atleast 3 of my very very close friends have confessed that the husbands/bfs know the passwords. Which I don’t think is wrong at all. But because these are people who know all my deep,dark,crazy,funny,shameless thoughts, it’s making me a bit too uncomfortable here 😐

  14. Saritha said

    I know husband passwords and he doesn’t know my passwords,he never asked me nor i asked him to open my mail.It is always me who does his work of checking his mails and he never did for me.

  15. Ram Pyaari said

    Sid and I share passwords. Matter of convenience now like you said, but it was one step( major step) ahead for is when we were still figuring things out.

    Confession- i stopped saving chats after that though 😛

  16. S said

    ahem..I seem to be the only mad woman here..
    We share passwords.. yes, out of convenience..like all of you said..
    but.. I check his mails also..
    ahem.. ok that was quite a confession!
    But he knows about it ok 😐

  17. mahes said

    No secrets in both of our email accounts. I know his passwords but he doesn’t seem to remember mine. Not a big deal anyway.

  18. ajay said

    There might be some information which we’re better off not knowing and I mean it to be different from hiding it. Too much information maybe dangerous. Password sharing shouldn’t be made into some sort of a ritual to validate trust or faith. Also the ethics of compromising on your friend’s confidentiality who interact with you on mail comes up as you pointed out. I am against it unless it’s just for convenience.

    • Pepper said

      I agree with you fully on ‘Password sharing shouldn’t be made into some sort of a ritual to validate trust’. If you are not comfortable with the idea, you should never be forced into doing it just to prove to your partner that you trust him/her. Beside, password sharing can also lead to instances of failed surprises, etc..

      But I was talking of convenience purely. And compromising on my friend’s confidentiality does not come into the picture because I know he would never open my personal mails or chat conversations..

  19. scorpria said

    Well, we don’t. Maybe I can’t say “we” don’t. Coz time and gaain, over the phone, the husband has asked me to open his mail. EVERY SINGLE TIME, he has to tell me his password coz i JUST CANT remember it (could be why he tells me the password too :P) 😀 He doesnt know my password and I’ve never told him either. FB, WP all he knows — but not gmail. It’s part of “my space”…and its a given in our relationship that we dont go into tht “space” unless explicitely invited to 😉
    i hav nothing to hide from him, but i guess its jut one of those “principles” of mine 😀

  20. neha said

    we dont know each others’ mail passwords yet, because there never was a need to share it. But we do share our amazon, expedia and credit card account passwords because sometimes we do end up paying for each other. But i guess if the need arises we would be ok with password sharing too!

  21. Seena said

    Yeah we knew each others password, now we have both of our mails configured in my iPhone, so that I can inform him abt any imp meetings/mail etc. Now we are in a stage where we have same password 🙂

    I have a friend, who keeps checking her husband’s mailbox everyday to see whats happening between him and his parents.She does that with out her husband’s notice..I just hate that.

    Another friend’s husband installed key logger software in her laptop, she chats with her brother from office and her husband knew everything until she figured this. Her husband’s laptop can be opened only using his fingers. She felt so bad, but they still live together.

    So its tough to conclude that all married couples trust each other.

    • Pepper said

      Oh yes, not all married couples trust each other. And a lot of times the trust is broken. I really don’t approve of passwords being used to check what is happening between your husband and his parents. It does cause some damage to your relationship, in some way.

      Good to know you and your husband are so open with each other though 🙂

  22. Smitha said

    We have shared passwords – more for convenience than anything else.. And that was not because either of us asked – but because it just happened some time during the course of years.. And it is mainly so that we can access info that we need if the other is not around. And I know that he is not interested in personal emails and neither am I.

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