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Should Couples Share Passwords?

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As technology continues its push into our personal lives, couples face new conundrums.

For instance, should they share passwords for their email, social media, and other accounts?

According to a recent Pew study, 67 percent of Internet users in a marriage or committed relationship have shared the password to one or more of their online accounts with their spouse or partner.

The same study found 27 percent of Internet users who are married or are in a committed relationship share an email account, and 11 percent share a social network profile.

As CBS 2’s Emily Smith reported, while many Americans are sharing their passwords, some psychologists say having someone looking over your shoulder doesn’t necessarily equate to honesty and trust.

“I am a psychologist and a sex therapist and I say it is not wise,” said relationship counselor Judy Kuriansky.

Kuriansky says if you’re using each other’s online accounts as a relationship watch dog, it’s a red flag in its own right. “I am not in favor of using password sharing to prevent you from doing things. Just be careful in your relationships.”

If password sharing does come up, and you disagree on the answer. Try approaching it this way: “I think it’s best if both of us were to keep a little personal life to ourselves,” says Kuriansky.

There were plenty of New Yorkers in relationships who told Smith they don’t share and don’t plan to either.

“No absolutely not.”

“(Are you curious?) No, not really. (Do you trust her?) Yeah.”

“I respect her privacy and I want her to respect mine.”

So why do so many people share?

“Different age groups have different reasons for sharing. When you’re a couple and have kids, you might have to communicate about carpooling and medical appointments,” Kuriansky said.

Psychologists say the potential pitfalls to password sharing is just another sign of the times. They also say the best way to determine if you’re ready to share a password is only if both of you have no question in your mind about doing it. Otherwise, the answer should be no.

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