Does your significant other know your passwords?

Do you know the password to your spouse’s bank or credit card accounts? According to a new report from Intel Security the answer is “No” for about 66 percent of you.

Where exactly is the line between protecting your privacy and sharing openly and honestly with your loved one? What happens when a loved one dies and the surviving partner has no idea how to log into or access any of the accounts?

I wrote a blog post summing up the Intel Security findings. It also provides some guidance for how to walk that line between privacy and sharing:

We’re conditioned almost constantly to protect our passwords. Don’t write them down. Don’t store them in a Word doc on your desktop. Don’t share your password over the phone or by email. Don’t ever give your password to anyone under any circumstances. The gray area comes with whether to share your password with significant others.

Intel Security commissioned a survey of 2,507 adults aged 18-54, who are online and use Internet-connected devices in North America (US), Asia Pacific (Australia, Singapore), and Latin America (Brazil, Mexico). The results illustrate the varying opinions on just how much you should share with your spouse.

In the United States, 32 percent of the survey respondents said they know their significant other’s bank or credit card password(s). The Intel Security report doesn’t indicate whether that password knowledge was shared voluntarily by the other person, or known through other means.

The flip-side to this finding is that two-thirds of US adults apparently do not know the bank or credit card passwords for their significant other. That shows serious dedication to the idea of keeping passwords secret.

The survey also discovered, however, that other passwords are shared more readily. More than half (55 percent) of those surveyed in the United States, for instance, know their partner’s Facebook password (and vice versa). Just under half (46 percent) indicated they know their significant other’s email or PC password, and 45 percent reported knowing the other’s cell phone password.

Check out the complete post–which includes tips for managing password security–at PCWorld: Password security tips: When and how to share them safely with loved ones.

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