In marriage, many people expect to have no secrets between them and their spouse. The thought of sharing everything, including access to digital accounts and devices, may seem like the mark of a healthy relationship. Granting access to this information sometimes signifies trust. However, you might both benefit from maintaining a certain level of digital privacy.
Think about all of your online data. Not only do you probably have personal messages in email and social media, but you likely use the internet for finances. The sheer amount of information and power that exists through access to your login information may be staggering.
By allowing your spouse to peek into your bank account, borrow your PayPal or browse your Facebook feed, you might risk problems in the future. NPR recently discussed sharing passwords with a few experts in the field, who agree that couples are better off keeping online data private. Your partner might not only abuse this opportunity to snoop, creating relationship tension, but they could also cause lasting damage if the marriage turns sour.
One of the first things to do in a divorce is to change all of your passwords to protect your information. This is important because an upset spouse who has the metaphorical keys to your kingdom can “hack” into your phone or computer. They could delete files, make purchases in your name, lock you out of your accounts and sabotage your divorce proceedings. Although a few of these cause permanent issues, some may be examined in court.
If your spouse insists on sharing everything, including passwords, in your relationship, you might want to discuss why digital boundaries can protect both of you. After all, trusting that your partner doesn’t have a dark secret lurking online can also be a sign that your relationship is strong.