Who knows your passwords? Has anyone ever asked you for them? A partner or a friend? How did that request make you feel? Protective, uncomfortable or just fine? What method do you use to share your passwords? Twitter DM? Is it secure?
Sharing passwords is almost the norm these days. We’re constantly sharing space and information in the digital world, which means our partners can access more of our lives than ever before. There’s often an expectation that two people in a relationship should share their passwords as a sign of trust, intimacy and commitment. But is it?
You might think, I have nothing to hide. But it’s not about having something to hide. It’s about having control over your own space and identity, which is critical for your autonomy, self-esteem and relationships. What if your partner doesn’t like what they see and tries to censor you or block your friends? What if you break up? You might trust each other now, but a simple password can enable a rejected lover to seriously abuse your privacy and safety.
Trust happens when your partner doesn’t need or want your password. If they expect or demand it, then it’s likely that they don’t trust you or they want to control you. In an abusive relationship, password sharing leads to online monitoring, social media isolation, destroyed friendships, public embarrassment, identity theft and loss of access. Also, people experiencing intimate partner violence require online and mobile privacy to access information and tools that can help them find safety.
Any security you gain from sharing your password is temporary. You have a right to privacy, and that’s fundamental in a relationship.
START A POLL & SPARK A CONVERSATION
Start a poll to on password sharing on your social media or your own website to get a conversation going on good password practices. Here are some sample questions and answers:
Do you share passwords?
Yes, no, sometimes, depends
Who have you given your passwords?
Partner, friend, family member
Why do you share passwords?
Parents require, partner demands, forget them easily, want to
Has a partner ever demanded or expected you to share?
Have you ever demanded or expected a partner to share?
Is password sharing an expression of trust or lack of trust?
Trust, lack of trust, can’t decide
Is password sharing between a form of control?
Yes, no, sometimes, can’t decide
Would you share your journal with your partner?
Sure, maybe just a page, no way, depends, can’t decide
Are there some private spaces or moments you should have for yourself?
Definitely, maybe, no, can’t decide
Don’t forget to use #takebackthetech and tell us about your poll results by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or commenting on this page.
Passwords are important safeguards to your worlds. Find out more about them and how to build better, safer passwords. Reclaim your right to privacy! Transform trust.