Nothing says “I love you” like sharing your passwords with your significant other.
Close to 80% of people do this and 58% are sharing within six months of dating, according to a new survey from ExpressVPN.
Intra-couple password exchanging is most common for video streaming services, with 78% of respondents saying they share such information. Meanwhile, 64% said they share passcodes to get into mobile devices; 58% said they share music streaming passwords; and 52% said they share passwords for gaming streaming services.
The biggest offenders are millennials and Gen Z, compared to Gen Xers and baby boomers. For example, 83% of people ages 18 to 22 and 82% of those 23 to 38 share video streaming passwords, versus 72% of 39- to 55-year-olds and 59% of individuals over 55. For Gen Z, 81% share mobile device passwords, while 69% of millennials do so.
The reason for all this sharing is what you’d expect. Seventy percent cite trust and 63%, commitment.
That doesn’t mean it’s all giggles, though. Thirty-one percent say they’ve had fights when their significant others don’t chip in for shared subscriptions.
And it doesn’t end after a breakup. Three out of 10 people have copped to logging into exes’ social media accounts, and a quarter use location-sharing apps to figure out former boyfriends’ or girlfriends’ whereabouts. More men than women do this.
No wonder 36% say they wished they hadn’t shared their passwords with a significant other. Again, more men than women.
“While it may seem innocuous in the moment and a way to establish trust in a relationship, sharing passwords can put your personal identity and private information at risk if you don’t take the proper precautions,” ExpressVPN vice president Harold Li said in a written statement. “If you’re going to share your password, make sure you’re at least practicing proper password hygiene and avoiding common mistakes such as reusing the same password combinations across multiple accounts or sharing them with others through unsecured methods like text messages or social media.”
This is asking for trouble. Twenty-six percent of respondents admitted sharing other people’s video streaming passwords without permission and three out of 10 report that their logins were used without their permission.
In late August, ExpressVPN and Rep Data surveyed 1,506 U.S. adults with video streaming subscriptions who are in exclusive non-married relationships.