Are You Happy To Share Passwords With Your Partner?


We’re always told not to share our passwords with others, but the rule is harder to apply when it’s your significant other who wants to check those party details in your Gmail. Are you happy to share passwords and PIN codes with the love of your life?

There’s a discussion around this issue over at Gizmodo, and it got me pondering. Obviously there’s a bunch of potential factors involved: Did the account exist before you got together? How much do you trust your partner? How much of a premium do you place on privacy? But I’m wondering what Lifehacker readers think:

Feel free to expand on your partner password policy in the comments.


  • I use LastPass with Firefox so my wife could log onto any of the sites I use with the AutoFill option. She doesn’t have much interest in AFL Dreamteam or Torrent sites so I’m not too concerned. Not that I have anything to hide from her anyway.

  • Heck no.. I did it once a long time ago and my then partner hacked in to one of my online accounts and started stalking me. I should have known better after he did it to another of his ex’s while we where dating at the time.

    • It’s not called hacking if you gave them the password. That’s like saying someone broke into your house after giving them a key. But yeh +1 for FF password manager.

      • A Michigan man was charged with a felony after he logged into his (now ex) wife’s gmail account to discover she was having an affair. The charge is computer misuse and he could serve up to five years in prison. He used her password and their shared laptop to gain access to her account. Apparently, marriage does not mean you give up your privacy electronically. SO,l YES, IT IS HACKING if it isnt your account.

    • I picked the “depends on the person” option, as that would probably be the most important factor. I would trust my ex with my money, but definitely not my online stuff. He was a snooper and would somehow turn innocent work emails into accusations of philandering. With my current partner I’d be willing to give up anything on a needs basis.

  • Which password ? We have a common logon on one machine that has Thunderbird as the single point of truth of (nearly) every email for the past decade. Other passwords (eg social media sites) can normally get reset through an email, so would be recoverable/resettable by either of us.

  • Yeah i got no problems with them knowing..but I’d expect them to let me know if they’re signing into my shit and i wouldn’t expect them to think it’s ok to just read any of my mail (electronic or otherwise)

    That goes the same for me too.

    It’s kind of like- I have nothing to hide, but we’re also an individuals and if something is addressed to that person, it’s intended for them.

  • I’m going through a separation right now with my partner.

    I never shared any of my passwords with her and now I don’t need to worry about them being compromised by her.

    Having said that, she has never had any problems sharing hers with me.

  • Relationships boil down to trust! Alot of people have trust issues these days… If my partner needs to get access to any of my stuff, I would give her the password. My passwords havnt changed, but my girlfriends have, so my ex could log into my online world, but I trust that she wouldnt!!

  • Really it depends on the account as well as the person. Some accounts, such as wifi password and maybe my steam account. Bank account, email and social networks contain my identiy, not anyone elses.

  • Trust goes both ways. If your partner trusts you, why do they need your passwords? In my experience relationships in which “total honesty” is demanded are the least trusting. Trust your partner to be an autonomous human being and expect the same in return.

    As a CS graduate the concept of giving anyone – anyone – my password to anything is crazy.

  • Generally, no.
    Once bitten, twice shy I guess.

    Having said that, I’m quite comfortable with my family knowing my passwords, so I guess if I had the right partner, I’d feel ok with them knowing my passwords also. (So I picked depends on who the partner is).

  • Hell no. While I trust my partner, I just see no reason to give out any password unnecessarily – any password known by more than just you have a possible point of failure you can’t control. She might write it down on a sticky note for when she needs it, or keep it in a plain text file on her work computer, or email it to herself…all things commonly done with passwords.

    Of course I’ve given passwords for specific accounts when needed (she needs an email and I’m not near a computer, she wants to check if a payment has gone through to my bank account, etc) – but I change it afterwards. As soon as you get lax with your data security, bad things will start to happen.

  • Nope. While I have nothing to hide, I know that the best password is one you don’t speak of. If my wife wants access, i change the password to a common one. Not because I don’t trust her (which I do. Very much) but because I’m an IT man and I am very conscious of my security and keep my passwords long, full of letters, numbers, punctuation and keep it quiet..

  • I haven’t actively shared mine with her, but she pretty much knows what it will be. They’re all based of a keyword and “tree” of extensions based on the site.

    My brother on the other hand knows exactly what my password is, and how the tree system works…

  • All the sites she wants passwords to like Facebook and Hotmail she has but everything else is a different password eg bank, paypal etc. That’s the best way to do it

  • I use the same few passwords for everything. My wife uses her own few passwords. She knows all of mine, and I know hers. Same with PINs — we use the same one so if we have to use each other’s cards, we acn do that.

    I don’t snoop into her stuff, and she doesn’t snoop into mine.

    I think we started sharing passwords around the time we got engaged. Almost seven years into the marriage, this arrangement seems to work just fine — FOR US.

    I think that’s the thing. What works for us will and will not work for different couples, depending on a multitude of factors in each couple’s relationship. It’s not all just about trust, there are other considerations, such as convenience, ideologies, each person’s good/bad security history… Yeah.

  • I use a password manager to generate and store unique and complex passwords for all sites I access. My wife and I both share access to the password manager, and therefore can access each other’s accounts. We trust each other explicitly, have no secrets, and have nothing to hide from one another. I couldn’t imagine being in a relationship where this wasn’t the case.

  • Personally I would let them have my passwords if they needed it for whatever reason, if you are worried about it you can always change it later on.
    I also have also told very close friends one or two of my passwords before if i have logged into something on there computers or smart phones and they are using it or are in front of the keyboard, or I want them to check something for me. I trust them enough not to log in to my account, and tbh they will probably forget it.

  • I’ve always trusted my flatmate with my savings acct PIN when I can’t be bothered (too drunk) to go to the shop myself. He trusts me with his too. Maybe neither of us is worth stealing off? When I was younger and stupid I put $5000 into a backpackers acct for a day so she could get a Visa extension (necessary funds to support herself). I barely knew her. After immigration gave her the visa we went back to the bank and transferred it back. It’s only years later that I realise what a stupid thing it was to trust her not to run off with my money. Thing is, I miss being that naive.

  • No, but we have linked gmail accounts, sort of like sectary mode. Works brilliantly i can see access and send mail on hers and she can do the same on myne. This feature also limits what they can do.
    Try it!

  • It depends, on a number of things. Who the partner is, length of relationship, stability vs chaos/likelihood of the relationship to end or continue.

    Relationships require trust, so I would think if you reach a stage where its likely you’ll be together forever (engaged/married), you share. If it starts going sour however, I would start changing passwords…

    I agree with one of the previous comments however – its important to understand how your significant other looks after their passwords. If they write them down on a piece of paper, its not good.

    I work in IT and so am careful with my security – everything has a password and is locked or logged off when I’m done or step away, including home PC, tablet and phone. In the early stages of a relationship, this behavior did actually cause issue with a non-IT savvy partner, who suspected I was hiding something…it took some explaining to get them to understand the potential implications of being lax with the security of your personal data.

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