Would you share your password with a friend or significant other?
"It's a sign of trust," Tiffany Carandang, a high school senior in San Francisco, told the Times. She said she and her boyfriend, who share passwords for e-mail and Facebook, have "nothing to hide" from each other.
A Pew Internet study, released in November, found nearly one third of teenagers, or 30 per cent, have shared an online password with a friend, boyfriend or girlfriend.
The study provided the results of a phone survey of 799 teens aged 12 to 17 conducted between April 19 to July 14, 2011.
It found girls are "much more likely" to share their passwords than boys - 38 per cent of girls compared to just 23 per cent of boys. Sharing was highest among boys and girls aged 15 or 17, at 43 per cent and 41 per cent, respectively.
"While passwords may be guarded by some youth, password sharing among peers can be a sign of trust and intimacy," the study concluded.
Parents and counselors warn sharing passwords can end badly, saying relationships can sour before passwords are changed, or turn ugly because one partner abuses the shared password to spy on the other, the Times reported.
Teen expert Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees and Wannabes, compares the pressure to share passwords to the pressure to have sex.
"The response is the same: if we're in a relationship, you have to give me anything," Wiseman told the Times.
She said sharing passwords feels forbidden to teens because parents actively discourage it.
Have you shared a password with a friend or significant other? Did you regret it later? Why or why not? What pitfalls do you see with teens sharing passwords?
(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)
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