Do you share passwords with your partner?

August 23 |
Computer corner update
There are approximately this many computers in my basement.
Photo by Stefan Ledwina.

Qui.lee asks:

Do you have advice on whether couples should share passwords with each other?

Does it encourage snooping? Is it bad for the relationship or do we even need privacy if we have nothing to hide?

This seems like such a touchy subject for most people and maybe there's no right answer for all couples, but who better to lay it all out on the table than you?

Okay, this is tough. Here's my take:

No snooping. If you know enough to think you should be snooping, either your partner's up to something or you're in a bad place. Either way, it's time to step back and reconsider your course if snooping crosses your mind. I'll fess up: I snooped once and it sucked and it made everything worse. There was no upside.

But what about passwords? Now that I've laid down the law on snooping, passwords are a much easier topic.
When to share your passwords:

  • When it is necessary. If you need to print something off your partner's computer but in order to do that you have to call them for the password? Generally should be fine. Do you work together on projects or share bills online? Totally. If you want to create a layer of security, create a different password than your usual.
  • When it is responsible. Every household should have a password plan in case of emergency. A file, a post-it note — some way to share passwords in case one of you is unreachable. I would hate to get hit by a bus (nose tap) and not have a way for Scott to get my essential info.

Those are my rules. What's worked for you and what hasn't in password swapping at home?

  1. I have to agree with the "no snooping" advice. If you're snooping, you're suspicious and if you're suspicious, you should probably be talking to your partner, not their computer. However, my husband and I share all our passwords with one another simply for convenience and because we have no reason not to share them.

    2 agree
    • Preface: This is not at all about your relationship.

      I think that the "no reason not to share" can be turned into "if you don't share you have something to hide". I think that "because I don't want to" has to be acceptable as a reason. :)

      3 agree
      • I think that's totally true. Just because you're in a relationship doesn't mean you have to share everything.

        4 agree
  2. we've always known each others passwords, but have never looked in each others email accounts of facebooks unless the other says "oh look in my account for that particular piece of info/email"

    3 agree
  3. I definitely don't snoop – snooping is looking for private or hidden things. But I occasionally check my partners facebook and email – simply because he is SO terrible at
    a. getting back to people
    b. dealing with administrative stuff

    But I do this with his knowledge and blessing – he knows he often misses that email from his university, or forgets to respond to his uncle on facebook.

    2 agree
    • This is exactly what I do for my husband – with his blessing. I'm on a computer all day for work and he's not, so I'm his virtual admin assistant…

      0 agree
  4. We don't share passwords, not really. I think I might know the password to my wife's World of Warcraft account, but that's it. I'm really weird about sharing my passwords with anyone, though.

    0 agree
  5. We don't share passwords. I don't care what the BF does with his e-mail, FB or twitter. (We even agreed not to follow each other on twitter, since everybody needs a spot to rant from time to time. *lol*) I also don't care if he knows my passwords, since I trust him not to use them anyway.

    On the other hand it drives me *mad* if he leaves the room to enter a password on his iPad, since this feels like a big bad "distrust" sign to me. (I know some of his passwords but would never use them. As I say, I trust him.) I know that he has had snoopy girlfriends in the past, so I understand where that comes from, but still – I dislike it.

    In short: Everybody should keep their own passwords for stuff, common accounts should be shared (of course!) and no one should snoop around.

    4 agree
  6. We didn't share passwords for the first couple years, and I was always sort of put off by it–not that I wanted to see his private things but I wanted to know that if I DID want to that I COULD. Weird, I know. When he finally told me his "master password" it just turned out to be an embarrassing password!

    It's so much easier to share them though because then when one of us forgets we have a "password brainstorm" session to try to remember! Two heads are better than one!

    1 agrees
  7. My husband and I share all our passwords. For the important ones: joint account passwords, computer security codes, ect we chose them together. For our more private ones; email, facebook, retirement accounts, separate checking accounts, student loans, etc we created a "password cheatsheet" that lists all our accounts and corresponding passwords that we keep locked in our filing cabinet. We promised each other we'd only look at it in emergency situations.

    1 agrees
    • This is a truly excellent idea! Doing now. It would be very inconvenient to not have any idea how to access a bank account or email in case of an emergency.

      0 agree
    • Same with us. I could care less that he knows or doesnt know my passwords. Like original poster said, I did the snooping thing in my previous marriage and it sucked. My current husband and I are open books. But he never accesses my FB or private email accounts unless I send him there and vice versa. We too keep a list of all passwords in case one of us is in an accident or god forbid, passes away. We dont always share the same friends so I want to make sure he can get to what he needs to get too to administer my estate and vice versa. Social media has added a whole new layer to that sort of thing.

      0 agree
  8. We don't really share passwords intentionally, but kinda wind up having access to everything anyway.

    For example, the main bank account is a joint account, so either of us can access it. Computer-wise, I have SERIOUS issues about people being on my computer (thanks, snooping mother), so while I don't usually password-protect anything on my "home" computer, he has his own account which has access to some of the folders, which works pretty well. (My work computer is a machine I try not to bring home that much, but it's password-protected by my office, so different state of affairs.)

    That said, this is also the guy who knows what my blog is, but refuses to read it because (and I quote): "you should have a space where you can talk without me listening – everyone needs a space to vent if necessary" so, y'know, I'm pretty ok with trusting that he has access but doesn't snoop! :)

    2 agree
  9. My husband told me his password when he gave me his laptop (I irreparably infected mine with viruses) and I shared mine in the spirit of mutual trust. Though he was clearly the more trusting one, since he trusted me to not hack into his things and not kill his laptop like I did mine (I killed his laptop in a different way. I'm amazed he stayed with me)

    Completely agree with the "no snooping" thing, obviously. Even though he tells me basically everything he gets emailed to him, it does require context. Case in point: a couple of years ago a random girl he'd never met before sent him an email along the lines of "Hey, how are you? It's been a while since we were at blahblah doing blah and by the way here is a picture of me naked by a tree". It was funny at the time because he was all shocked and confused so we co-wrote a response saying "We're not sure who you are, but you seem like a nice person and that is a gorgeous tree". But if I'd just snooped and found that, there would be passive-aggressive crying fits galore…

    I think one of the big benefits of sharing passwords is that when I inevitably forget, he can remind me. I think that's a safer system than writing all my passwords on a bit of paper by the PC anyway…

    2 agree
    • passive-aggressive crying fits galore. Oh good! I'm not the only one! This makes me feel much better : )

      3 agree
      • Passive aggression is less likely to wake the neighbours, though, so there's that :)

        0 agree
  10. I know all the passwords to all of mine, his, and our accounts. But that's because I take care of the finances and general scheduling/organizing of the house. He's quite scatterbrained at times so it makes life simpler for me to keep things in order.

    He knows the bank password. It's his bank even though I keep on top of the finances. Otherwise he doesn't know any of mine but I don't think he really has any interests in knowing them.

    0 agree
  11. I think it depends on the type of relationship you have and the type of people you are. I started out being very guarded about my information and being uber respectful of my husband's privacy. But after awhile we realized that we were open and honest enough with one another that it didn't really matter. I don't care what porn he looks at and he doesn't care if I have money stashed somewhere. We understand each other's hang ups and we respect each other. We only share the things that matter–bank passwords, netflix passwords, phone passwords, etc. But he does have passwords and accounts that I don't know about and vice versa. That's cool with us.

    0 agree
  12. I use a password manager that's always running on our shared computers, so it would be trivial for my partner to snoop if he so desired, but there's really nothing for him to discover.

    At one time my partner only had two passwords, and shared them both, but he's changed them so I don't actually know any of his passwords anymore. An emergency password plan is a really good idea.

    0 agree
  13. Obviously no snopping (it really is a no-win situation), but that's not exactly what you asked. I don't think sharing passwords encourages snooping, per se. When I got my BF's password, I wanted to go into all his email accounts, but entirely to see if I could (I'm weird like that). But we had talked about it and he said he didn't mind if I did. I didn't do it without his permission. Basically, I think the thing that will prevent snooping is communication – when you share your password, make sure your significant other knows what you're expecting of them. If you still want privacy on your computer, tell him/her that. Be warned, that may put them off, and it might lead into other conversations ("why would you want to hide anything from me?"), but those may be good conversations to have anyway. My personal opinion is to share passwords if it comes up, and understand all the expectations around sharing them.

    0 agree
  14. I personally would never share my passwords not because I'm worried about snooping but rather because everyone I know thinks facebook hacking is hilarious. I use my facebook/Twitter/LJ/Wordpress for professional purposes. I wouldn't want to risk someone getting drunk and trying to be funny.

    I have an ICE (In Case of Emergency) file stored on a shared email address somewhere that my partner could get from a colleague if he needed it.

    If you absolutely trust your partner to respect for privacy and behave sensibly at all times then share passwords, but other than an emergency why would you need to?

    1 agrees
  15. We don't really share passwords. We only use one account on our computer, so we both have access to most things. We are both terrible about logging out og facebook and our emails so one of them is always pulled up. I accidently snopped once when I thought it was my fb logged on, not his, and went into the messages. I was sooo confused becasue I didn't know these people! But it was good for me to see that all of the messages were legit and not shady and I've never wondered about it once.

    We even play around on each other's phones. I know that I don't have anything to hide so if he wants to play with some of the apps I have that he doesn't, well go for it.

    0 agree
  16. we are both private people. while i know a few of the passwords he uses, i don't bother looking around. i respect his privacy.

    1 agrees
  17. My husbands idea was to create a Joint at "ourwebsite" dot com email and a standard password for it. So that things from the bank, netflix, bills etc, get sent to this account which then forwards it to both of our personal accounts. It also makes logging on to our joint accounts easy.

    There has never really ever been the consideration of snooping. We have about 4 computers in the house and they are constantly logged onto personal accounts, but we just use different browsers (me: chrome, him: firefox) so we have some privacy while being completely open. And we will look at each others accounts but only when asked by the other.

    0 agree
  18. we keep bank account passwords to ourselves but we have a mutual account for big things.

    we do share passwords for things that affect us both like the health insurance account but that's hardly unusual.

    0 agree
  19. i'd say we neither share nor protect our passwords. that is, i wouldn't care if she knew all of them, but there's also no real reason for her to, so she probably doesn't. and vice versa. plus, my memory is awful, so i have to ask for her password every single time i want to use her computer.

    that said, if you are in the "no how, no way" camp (which i really, really respect, because intimate relationship shouldn't equal lack of privacy…unless you want it to) i just read about a program called "dead man's switch" where you can put in your info and no one will see it unless you fail to tell the program you are still alive. more info on that and other "in case of… file" stuff at: http://unclutterer.com/2011/08/18/including-instructions-for-handling-your-online-identity-in-your-in-case-of-file/ and http://unclutterer.com/2011/08/16/creating-an-in-case-of-file/

    0 agree
  20. So, while I understand most people seem to view this as a snooping issue it ends up not being one. My spouse just lost his mother unexpectedly. Fortunately, she had a notebook with all of her passwords and accounts. Unfortunately, it was all out of date. It is important for your partner to have access to this information (yes even facebook, it's amazing the number of people who only know how to contact you through those means). In the days immediately surrounding a tragedy, such as a sudden death, access to bank accounts, email, and the like can be vital to accomplishing things such as getting the mortgage paid or figuring out where important documents were kept. I'm not saying your partners need to have intimate access at all times to all of your accounts. I am saying that I highly suggesting having an "in case of emergency" complete access plan in place.

    0 agree
    • I had a friend unexpectedly die and the RCMP investigators went through the entire family computer looking for any links whatsoever to her death. I don't recall if they broke her passwords or her parents provided them, but crap happens, and when it does, privacy goes out the window. It made me seriously think about the In Case Of Emergency files that should be kept – not only for those who are married, but single/kids/whatever.

      And that was a crappy enough situation that half of my friends wrote wills. Egads.

      0 agree
  21. My husband and I know each other's passwords. However, all of our email accounts are linked on the iPad and main laptop. If I wanted to I could go throguh all of emails or fb page. I don't unless he asks me to reply to his mother in an email or someone's fb message. (he is horrible at keeping in touch). Bank accounts are joint except for one of mine in the states but he has the password in case something happens.
    We switched passwords about a year intombeing together, but it was only email.
    Banks stuff came once we combined stuff.

    0 agree
  22. Vista Prints, Etsy, Amazon accounts…fine. But NEVER email, Facebook, or anything tied to money. Even though we have been together for 4+ years I always insure I log my husband out of a personal account, and never snoop. Some things should equally be seperate and private.

    1 agrees
  23. My husband and I know all of each others passwords. Plus we have shared accounts (joint email, etc). But we do have the "no snooping" rule. That should be common sense.

    We also tell each other when we are needing to access the other's whatever account. Like this past week, my husband was out of the country (down in Texas) for a week for work. And we had a dragon boat festival coming up. But since the team was through his work, I couldn't access the Facebook page. So I told him before he left, "I will be logging on to your Facebook every once and a while to check the team's Facebook page for updates."

    We also know each other's pin numbers just in case.

    However, it's something to discuss with your partner. With me and my husband…it just happened. But other people don't like sharing passwords for various reasons…so it's good to discuss it.

    0 agree
  24. My husband and I share passwords, it's not really a big thing in our relationship. We don't hide anything from each other. He handles all the money/bank accounts and I'm the social butterfly who handles our joint facebook account. If I wanted to get on the bank account I can, and he gets on facebook sometimes to talk to a few friends, and that's that. Emails have been used by the other, computers, cars, phones, everything we share. We're married, we share everything, and that's just perfect for us.

    We don't snoop, but if one or the other did, it'd be no biggie. Who cares if there's nothing to hide honestly? I have more important things that I'd be hurt about if my husband did, and going through my phone/email out of curiosity is not one of them.

    1 agrees
  25. My husband and I have a shared password. I think sharing a password has made both of us less likely to snoop. Regardless, it's not really our style to need to know what the other is doing 24/7. We've been together 11 years, 7 of which we've been married and share a soon to be 6 year old – and we're 27 & 30. I think growing up together, and the amount of stuff we have gone through together has built enough trust that we each can have our respected e-lives.

    0 agree
  26. My husband and I are still getting things sorted out. We have occasionally exchanged passwords for things as needed and he has offered to give me his password for anything if I want to check up on him (after an incident with him receiving an unsolicited text and a text from someone who didn't know how to be appropriate and I got confused and hurt before asking for clarification). I've seen his debit card pin but I never pay attention, and I've offered to let him use my Facebook account if he ever wants. We are in the process of getting a joint account and negotiating how we deal with that but we've been talking about big purchases and all that for a while and sharing buying groceries, etc. He isn't worried about keeping things private and neither am I but I also don't actively invade his space because there's no point. He keeps his email to himself because he may be working on a surprise for me or something like that, and I keep mine to myself because he doesn't need to see all the random emails I get.

    0 agree
  27. I definitely second having a plan to share passwords as a backup when the other one is away. I've been in the position of the wifi crashing and needing a reset. Not knowing the very complicated wifi security reset password and my husband traveling internationally and being very hard to get a hold of was very frustrating, especially since our main mode of communication was email and Skype which obviously both need the internet to work! It's important to have them written down for the other person for extenuating non-emergency and emergency situations.

    0 agree
  28. my husband and i are both privy to probably most if not all account passwords the other one has. we trust each other to use passwords for good, not evil. i don't check his email unless i've used it for some reason or know there's an invitation/important information in there that i need. same for him, if there is flight info in mine, etc., i just tell him to log in. trust is a huge part of being in a committed relationship. we share pretty much everything. i also know my aunt and uncle function well with almost everything separate and private. different strokes.

    0 agree
  29. I don't share my password with anyone, and the few times I have it's been in a situation that I literally could not get whatever I needed out of an account. My ex used to share his passwords with me which was probably a dumb thing for him to do–looking for a certain email lead to my finding exchanges with chicks from craigslist and my tearing him a new one. I admit I was snooping at the time, but I don't regret it.

    I value my privacy and value my partner's. If I need to retrieve something off the 'nets I'll get it myself, or wait until I can.

    0 agree
  30. Reformed snoop because of password sharing.

    I keep my personal and business passwords separate. And then I break it down to social, networking, and other. I share all but my social with my husband-to-be. After he shared his with me- all of them- I no longer felt a need to snoop. I mean, he is sharing, so what can he be doing that would bother me to find out?

    0 agree
  31. We didn't set out to share passwords for personal things like emails, mostly because I don't think the notion crossed our minds. However, over the years, we've kind of grown to know what each others usual passwords are. I can't say with 100% certainty that I know how to get into his email address, but I could make a couple of educated guesses at the password if I had to. My partner goes on tour fairly regularly, so the only time I have need to get into one of his accounts is when he needs to check on a message/email, but can't get access to reliable internet for whatever reason.

    0 agree
    • Mmhmm. I think I could make it into my partner's accounts if I needed to. He's also got the built-in advantage that I can't remember numbers for shit, so he's told me some passwords over and over and I'll never remember them. It's taken me eight years to get his soc memorized!

      0 agree
  32. This is a hard one for me. I'm incredibly nosy (which is exactly why I love this site so much where I can snoop in peoples houses ;) ) I know several of my bf's passwords but have resisted snooping so far. It's not even a trust thing I trust him 100% I am just nosy! I'm also guilty of the odd frape but only if he's left it signed in. I think I'm hilarious, he thinks I'm silly. :)
    I really should have some kind of password back up but mostly because my memory is terrible.

    0 agree
  33. This is a hard one for me. I'm incredibly nosy (which is exactly why I love this site so much where I can snoop in peoples houses ;) ) I know several of my bf's passwords but have resisted snooping so far. It's not even a trust thing I trust him 100% I am just nosy! I'm also guilty of the odd frape but only if he's left it signed in. I think I'm hilarious, he thinks I'm silly.
    I really should have some kind of password back up but mostly because my memory is terrible.

    0 agree
  34. We share a computer (it is not password protected) and while we dont' share passwords, because we use the same machine, one of us will get online and be automatically directed to the other's facebook page, blog, email etc.. It doesn't bother us because we have nothing to hide.

    We probably should have a password file around somewhere just in case, though.

    0 agree
  35. We have our computers networked together so that we can share files that way. We share passwords, but it's very casual (hey, what's the password for this so I can check that). I think it would be hard to live with someone where you never knew any of the other person's passwords. But maybe that's just because I'm forgetful and sometimes rely on my husband to look up things in my email. :)

    0 agree
    • Haha, kinda this. If I didn't know my husband's passwords, then no one would.

      0 agree
  36. We know the passwords to the important stuff like bank accounts and credit cards, but for things like Amazon or email or facebook, we don't share. Not because we do it on purpose, we just don't see the point. We also each have our own password protected account on our PC, but just because he hates how cluttered my account is. We don't hide anything, so the idea of snooping just doesn't come up.

    0 agree
  37. I know pretty much all of my husbands passwords and pin numbers and such things. He potentially could know all of mine but he always forgets them. It wasn't anything that we spoke about or did on purpose in the sense that it was a monumental relationship discussion, they were just shared when one of us needed access to check or see something.

    That said, after being with him for so long, I would be pretty ticked off if he said "No" to sharing any of his passwords. We both are pretty independent people who like our own space but refusing to give out a password seems like a sign of trouble. If you think they are going to snoop, or if you have something to hide… well both of these seem like relationship problems that need to be spoken about.

    1 agrees
  38. We've never outright been like "Okay let's sit down and exchange passwords", but through the time we've spent living together, there's been many times we've given passwords and pins and such to eachother as a matter of convenience. Also, even if it's not good, we both tend to use the same formulas and combinations to come up with usernames and passwords, so honestly, even if I didn't tell him an explicit password (or he didn't tell me) we could pretty easily hack into the other's account. Honestly, I'd be upset if he felt like we should have a list of eachother's passwords. To me, demanding that or wanting it would not only be a glaring expression of lack of trust, but it would also be a kind of implicit go-ahead to get into eachother's accounts and spy and snoop on eachother. Just because I can easily get into his facebook account doesn't mean it's at all ethically okay for me to log in and see what he's been up to, just like just because I know his pin number doesn't mean it's okay for me to watch his ATM transactions. In my opinion, knowledge of your partner's passwords should be organic.. demanding them outright, to me, anyway, indicates a breakdown in trust and communication.

    1 agrees
    • It is funny… I just said in my post that refusing to give someone your password is a sign of a relationship problem but I ALSO agree with Nikki: trying to FORCE your partner into giving up their passwords or "keeping an eye" on your partner is also a relationship problem in my opinion. I guess it can be a pretty delicate balance for such a little issue!

      1 agrees
      • It is super delicate, IMO. I think it ties into my "organic" statement. I won't give my ATM pin to my partner because he sits down and wants all of my passwords and pins.. but if he calls me and is like "I need to pick up groceries, what's your pin?" freaking out about giving him the PIN is totally a sign of relationship issues, IMO. He gets my passwords and pins but not because he demands, but because it makes sense. Similarly, if it makes sense to give that information and another person doesn't, I would be very suspicious.

        1 agrees
  39. My partner knows some of my passwords because I ask her to do stuff for me when I'm out and nowhere near a computer.

    0 agree
  40. We share passwords mostly out of necessity. For instance, I set up our online banking account, and used one of my passwords. I of course gave it to my husband so he could access our account info and pay bills online. I knew most of his until recently (mostly because it was the same for many accounts), until he got hacked and changed everything in his name. I haven't asked for the new ones, and I'm not terribly concerned. He's good about paying credit card bills on time anyway.

    I would occasionally go into his email account if I needed something and he wasn't immediately available. For example, last year we went on vacation, and the flight info was sent to his account. I needed the flight numbers, and he was away from his desk or in a meeting or something, so I just went in and got it myself. He wasn't bothered, mainly because he knows that's ALL I'd ever use his password for.

    So I guess we're not very concerned about privacy, not because we've got nothing to hide (we both know we don't) but because, as a married couple, we share too many online accounts to be in the dark.

    0 agree
  41. My husband and I share some passwords. I am in the IT field and it is a big no-no on sharing so it is hard for me to share all. We never never share work related passwords. Our mutual accounts have the same email but a series of different passwords to keep things secure. Sometimes he gets erked because I will change a home password to a work one (I only have about 53 of them for a crap load of systems lol) and I have to reset it before I will give him the new password. This usually happens when the password expires and I am accessing it at work. But he deals.

    I actually know most of his passwords since I am the one who sets up his accounts and he could careless what the passwords are. He loves me so much when I get creative on the passwords lol

    Everyone should be careful about syncing and sharing passwords too much because they can be used against you. Also for accounts associated with money and other highly confidential things, use an encryption password app. That way they cant be guessed or accessed without they "key".

    0 agree
  42. We share passwords, I know all his regularly used passwords and he knows mine. It's a trust thing. We both trust that neither of us are doing anything to merit snooping, so if snooping does occur, we aren't going to find anything. I think, and I'm pretty sure he agrees with me, that privacy is for your own head. Secrets are ok in a relationship, but lies kill one. So neither of us does anything that the other would be re-thinking our relationship over.
    However, we are both each others second marriage, and both of us were left because our spouse had been cheating secretly. Both of us blindsided and trusting. So maybe it's stupid to trust again, but I don't believe so and neither does he. (though both of us will admit to snooping just to prove it to ourselves) Both of us are the kind of people who want that partner who helps us be the person we want to be and have a partner to grow old and have years and years and years of shared history with. Our previous partners weren't. They were the adventure seeker types. So we share, and have been for about 5 years, and it works for us. If I want something kept private, I keep it to myself. Internet isn't for privacy anyways LOL!!

    1 agrees
  43. We're pretty relaxed about it but we dont remember each others passwords specifically other than his university log on which for a while I had to use to print my stuff (largely for a rival university!)

    Email passwords we dont share on the basis we've never had the need to. Facebook ones we have because I often use his iPhone to access mine and he asks that I log him back in when I'm done, otherwise all hell breaks loose when he's posting on my account etc.

    On the odd occasion we do share passwords we do it verbally, i.e. I'll spell mine out to him for the online banking which holds our joint account (he's with a different bank and cant access it). When we hear the letters one by one we tend not to remember it as well as we would if they were read out in sequences. Like remembering a phone number, it's easy when its said to a pattern eg "three-six-three—-seven-doubleeight" but harder to remember digit by digit (dialling 1471 is a prime example, nobody can remember what the voice says)

    The only other way we've shared passwords has been again for the online banking. In that instance I wrote the details down on a wipeboard (chalkboard but white plastic and politically correct) so that he could wipe them off as soon as he was done with them.

    Also we tend to input passwords in front of each other but like using a chip and pin machine, fingers move so fast its pretty hard to see the password and memorise it to use it. Though like I said, there's no real reason for us to do so

    0 agree
    • Also, I know his pin number and he proabably knows mine in case either of us lost our cards or we're having to use the others accounts to buy something, say I'm skint but he just got paid and I need to buy milk

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  44. i really need to set up an ICE file just in case; i don't know any of FH's passwords and he doesn't know any of mine. We do know each other's pin numbers but thinking about it we also haven't shared online banking info either.
    we don't share passwords because we have no need to – if i do need to get into something he'll tell me but i suck at remembering his passwords because we use completely different naming conventions. we have separate computers, no joint email or bank accounts other than our flat account which is shared with a flatmate as well.
    Neither of us has any reason or desire to go snooping in each other's stuff, partly because we know it's all going to be boring to each other. I have no interest in his work stuff and he has no interest in my knitting patterns and fanfic!
    One thing we do do is read over each other's shoulders when sitting with our laptops, which works for us – that's how we share.

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  45. I'm really protective of my privacy, and always have been. My email addresses all have different passwords from each other and from my social networking sites, and from my banking sites -even my mobile is set for autolock after 15 seconds. I don't know if I could pinpoint exactly why I'm so obsessed with keeping out, if it stems from working with sensitive personal information at work or if it's just the way I'm wired. It has proven to be a mixed blessing. I've never had any issues with people getting into my stuff, but in my last relationship, I was accused of cheating by my partner. I wasn't, but I guess my bizarrely private behaviour and various locked files didn't foster a different image. However, I can speak from personal experience that the second you demand a password from your partner or (even worse) rashly accuse them of something, you've pretty mush put a nail in the coffin. It was acrimonious and bitter, and in hindsight, I wish we'd been able to communicate more effectively, but eh. It was several years ago, he was younger than me, and I was a lot younger at the time.

    As to the subject at hand, I trust my partner immensely. I still maintain my labyrinth-like password creation system, but there are the odd gaps. For things like netflix, hulu and amazon, we share our passwords, and he knows the pin to my debit card. He doesn't know how to access my personal stuff -my paypal, online banking and personal bills, like my mobile -but he does know my mobile's unlock code.

    So maybe it's a matter of what people are willing to share with each other, and whether or not the person you're with is the RIGHT person to be sharing that.

    1 agrees
  46. We have a few general passwords that we share but my email and work related stuff remains confidential as I work with clients and my profession's code of ethics require that I keep all information confidential. My husband also has a separate password for his computer because he works as a system administrator and has access to company information.

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  47. My husband knows my passwords. I use the same 4 or 5 over and over, so it's not like he couldn't guess if I didn't tell him explicitly. I know the password to his computer, but not to anything else. He's told me his go-to password a couple times, but his are a lot harder to remember than mine.

    We do, though, ask permission to get on each other's computers. He gets ticked if I install stuff on his computer, so I usually swing a, "Hey, is it cool if I stream from the desktop Saturday night?" his way — unless he has work, he doesn't mind. He asks my permission to use my laptop, but I don't actually care, so. :D

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  48. Boyfriend and I share passwords because we so often have to get into each others accounts for various reasons. We have a couple shared accounts, and he has to get in to my xbox and psn, and sometimes facebook and such sometimes. It was an automatic thing for us, but only because from the start we have an amazing level of trust in each other. It's not normal for me and that makes it all that much better. Neither of us snoop (I only snoop for xmas presents… sometimes… really… it was only for 5 minutes.) in our accounts. :)

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  49. We share passwords for things we share in real life (bills, shared other accounts that really have little meaning to the outside world). We have shared access to anything regarding insurance for the house or the cars or other shared bills. All he has to do is call the company and do his thing. We keep everything we need to both have access to in google docs. Emergency things are not kept locked up.

    Never felt the need to know his passwords. Never felt the need to snoop. Its bad security to share passwords with other people. That is a big no no in our house. Though he has admin rights on my computer (so he can fix it) and could easily find whatever he wants if he needs to.

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  50. My fiance and I know our passwords because we like to get on each other's game accounts to mess with our friends :D

    Ehem, and if he needs help with stuff online (he grew up without internet, it's very tragic), it's way more simple for me to just get on his whatever it is and do it for him ^^ He's 1000 miles away currently, so it's not like I can just show him what to do.

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  51. Zack and I do not know each others passwords, but I do know that if I was ever feeling anxious or concerned and I asked him to look at his page or email account he would open it up immediately for me. We also leave our pages and accounts signed in out of laziness/forgetfulness on each others computers and neither of us has ever been uncomfortable.

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  52. We don't share passwords unless we need to — like for the router, or to log into sites we both use but don't both need an account for. Otherwise, I don't know any of his and he doesn't know any of mine — we don't really need to, and even though I don't have anything to hide and trust him not to mess anything up, I feel better knowing I'm the only one using my computer/my accounts, and vice versa.

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  53. We know some of our passwords, but I've never really had the inclination to sit my husband down and make a list of his passwords, and the same with me. Plus, like others said above me, we tend to get lazy and stayed logged into sites on each others computers, so it's there if we want to see it I guess. We know each others PIN numbers for various things, but that's mostly for emergencies.
    I don't snoop. And let me just say, I'm not trying to be holier-than-thou. I had a previous relationship where we both spent a lot of time snooping and spying and basically just looking for SOMETHING to get mad about. And, frankly, when we got to that point, we realized we were really looking for a reason to split.

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  54. Before I give my response, I'm going to clarify that when I say "partner," I mean someone you've been with long enough to know them, and whom you feel you could trust with your life. I do not mean that boyfriend that you met three weeks ago and OMG YOU'RE SO IN LOVE. (I've heard SO many stories about people who stupidly shared passwords with new flames and got hacked or worse.)

    Anywho, I think that passwords should neither be hidden or demanded, except on a need-to-know basis. For example, I needed my boyfriend's password to log into the internet when I visited him at college. He needed mine because he wanted to play on my maplestory account for a bit and see how mages work. But, neither one of us snoops, and neither one of us has anything to hide. We trust each other enough to share passwords willingly, and we trust each other enough to not feel we need them, except when a specific circumstance calls for it.

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  55. No common password – I know his and he's supposed to know mine (but has a goldfish memory). I do store my various passwords in a safe place, though. I am not concerned with my virtual shoppings accounts but as a work-from-home freelancer, I thought my partner would find it useful to know how to contact my clients in case something happens to me.

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  56. My husband and I share all our passwords and I check his facebook all the time. I don't have a facebook account and some of our friends only communicate with it. This way I can see the messages but don't have the ability to respond to the stupid posts that I would totally call out.

    As far as I know he's never snooped through my stuff but he wouldn't find anything if he did.

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  57. We don't have a no snooping rule, we just don't snoop. We know most of each others passwords, which comes in handy. I signed my husband up for Pottermore and it was a race against time, so it's good I could get into his email account. If I need him to pay my student loan he can do it more easily with my info. Once in awhile we tell each other "Do not go into my email/closet/craftster, there is secrets abounding!", but that's only really at Christmas time :)

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  58. I have 4 passwords I alternate for different things. My Fiance knows what they are but doesn't know what goes to what. Same with me. I know what passwords to try…. We both ave a list (somewhere around here) that has then listed out in case something should ever happen.

    actually last night i called him out a bit on a privacy issue. I got a text on my phone and asked him to grab it as he walked by it… he did only he started to open the message. I said to him- "I don't red your messages don't read mine." him: "you could you know, I don't care." me: "I do." him: "why" me: "becuase if that person had something to say to you they would have sent you the message… plus it's my phone. if you wanna pay my bill you can read my messages."

    I have nothing to hide, but that doesn't mean he needs to see it.

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  59. After a nasty summer last year, I would suggest that both of you should write down all usernames and either passwords or hints to passwords (be sensible about it!) for the essential sites (email, social networking of choice, online banking, any online utility accounts), seal the pages in separate envelopes and put them somewhere very safe. When my late partner went into intensive care last summer, I ended up with no way to let his friends know what had happened as his phone had been with him in hospital so it was in their safe until he was back on a normal ward and I also ended up struggling to pay the bills after a few weeks. I seriously hope and pray that you never need to open each other's envelopes.

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    • Blasted laptop! I didn't manage to edit this post in time :-(

      I've come across as very, I don't know, bossy perhaps, in that above post. Finding myself with a fiancé who was on life support in intensive care with no way to contact any other than our mutual friends and, eventually, with no way to pay the bills either was a sobering experience. I'm not saying "share all your details" just work out what's important if something like that were to happen to you and make sure that it can all be dealt with.

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  60. My partner knows my passwords, but I don't really know his.
    I've gone snooping before though. Once, it turned up information that he really should have told me (info that I actually needed to know- his friends was no longer planning on being one of my bridesmaids!), and the other times I learned that my partner is actually pretty boring…
    :)

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  61. This is an interesting thread.

    My husband and I don't have a lot of accounts between us: a few email addresses, a joint bank account, debit cards, the odd online account at shopping websites like Amazon. We don't social network, we don't have smart phones. Neither of us even text. So that, in itself, simplifies things. That being said, we each know every password and PIN that exists between us, and have both given permission to the other to check any account at any time, should they feel the need. This is partially because we share essentially everything (a car, a house, a computer, belongings, our time — why not passwords?) but also because we've got some trust issues, both from previous relationships and our own relationship's less-than-glorious beginning. We would both get all crazy if we felt like the other one had to have something password protected (i.e., "What are they hiding?") Having total access to each other's accounts reinforces the trust we have for each other. We proved to each other that we have nothing to hide by keeping these things completely accessible. We're both kind of snoops by nature, which can ruin (and has ruined) relationships, but I know that every time I've logged into his email in the past and found nothing to worry about, it's made me feel better and less likely to do it again. It's been quite a while since I've checked his accounts because I know there's nothing in there that I shouldn't see, and I could bet that he's in the same boat. Eventually, I'm sure it won't be an issue at all. It's what works for us.

    1 agrees
  62. I shared my passwords with my partner, no problem. Then when we separated, I had issues with changing my passwords. So much so that when I opened a new phone account, they ended up giving him full access – which meant potentially he could have cancelled my phone, changed my plan, and had access to all the numbers I'd called and texted. Lucky for me we separated "well", but in another circumstance this could have been ugly. I'll be a lot more wary next time I think.

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  63. We both have separate computers but we both know the passwords for each, (his has wifi and mine is still attatched to it's leash the ethernet cable) yet we both keep out facebook and other various social neworks open and we have a mutual trust that neither would snoop, modify or otherwise mess with each others stuff. I believe it's all in the trust. I know that he won't be in my facebook or msn messenger looking through my conversations (not that he would find anything in there other than me talking to his mom) because I would never look through his. I do happen to know that all of his favorite nudie pics are his screen saver, and for that I give him crap, because if I didn't who would? But again it really is all about trust. :)

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  64. My boyfriend and I shared our passwords fairly early on in the relationship. One reason is because we trust each other immensely, but also because we don't have anything to hide, and I don't mean in the traditional sense. Neither of us are really tied to any social networking sites (only he has Facebook and I have tumblr) and our emails are used to connect with shopping accounts, our parents and school so again, nothing exciting there.

    However, it's also extremely useful. I can call him and tell him to check my bank balance online if I'm not near my branch. I don't have a smartphone so I can get him to check my email if I'm out. Honestly, it had never really been a concern for us since we share everything anyway.

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  65. Mister and I share passwords and neither of us snoop – which is strange because I was SUCH a snoop in my last relationship and I seem to be a snoop by nature (I found my Christmas presents three days after Thanksgiving, for example).
    We don't do it for any kind of emergency plan, but just because it's easier. If I'm getting out of the shower and want to check my bank account, I know I can ask my Mister to log me in real quick while I feed the cats. (He can ask the same of me, but I always need to be reminded of his passwords! I can never remember them.) It's just convenient for the two of us, and we know that we would never invade each other's privacy. I'll always ask before I check his email, for example, and he does the same. It's not really a big deal with us; it just felt natural.

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  66. I dated a guy years back that hid everything from me. So bad that if he left his phone sitting on the counter and I picked it up to look to see what time it was, it was even password protected for that. His OVERPROTECTEDNESS made me want to snoop. I never did but damn did I want to. I didn't care about bank accounts or anything like that. I didn't need any of it but his blatent "NO" toward letting me pick up his phone when I was closer to it when it was ringing was making me angry.

    I should have taken that as a clue because the girl that kept calling him was really his "fiance". We dated for 2 years and it finally ended when I did pick up the phone once when he was in the shower and she wanted to know why I was always in the house that he lives in… (I owned the home).

    What I'm trying to say is: if he refuses to share for no reason at all, I might be cautious. I wouldn't ask him for the information but if something were to happen and you needed it, and he still refused, then something might be wrong.

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  67. My fiancee and I both have had each other's passwords for everything for years. I admit, I use them to screw with him for fun, like unlocking his computer and giving him a background of horses humping, or stripping all his WoW characters and setting them up in weird locations. We check each other's email for a variety of reasons, and we both admit to snooping. But there is nothing there except fodder to tease each other with. "Wow I found emails from when you were a teenager, you grammar hasn't changed at all!" And then he's shoot back with a, "At least I don't read all my shopping advertisements and bookmark them!" It's never been a source of mistrust or stress. Mostly just a source of laugh and playful bullying.

    There has been times when we both would say, "Hey, I bought you something online, so would you mind not looking at my mail until I surprise you?" And that works out fine too.

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  68. We share passwords, PIN numbers and other things. The password thing just sort of developed organically–we've been together three years and there have been times when we needed one another to go into various accounts from a distance, or simply because it's more convenient. My partner has also given me his blessing to access his bank account to keep an eye on his spending. He has a very bad habit of making impulse buys that he regrets later, but he's aware of this and the knowledge that I'm checking helps him to keep from spending that money. Finally, he and I have a joint account for bills/rent/big purchases where the bulk of our money goes. Because, as previously mentioned, I tend to be better at managing money, I'm in charge of this account, though he's capable of accessing it whenever I need him to. He also has the PIN number for my separate bank account (and I have his) because I'll sometimes give him my card to run errands. Basically, it just makes things more convenient for both of us to do it this way, but neither of us is particularly secretive or careful about our privacy to begin with.

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  69. We share the Netflix and Hulu password, which so happens to be his facebook login. I told him upfront, I will respect his Facebook privacy. We are in a long distance relationship (Navy) so we like to share the entertainment.

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