Despite knowing the risks, a significant amount of teenagers are sharing passwords with their partners and friends.
A study by the Pew Internet and American Life project revealed that one in three teenagers surveyed were giving the passwords to their Facebook, email and other web accounts to their friends and significant others.
The survey consisted of nearly 800 teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17.
The study revealed that even though some passwords are carefully guarded by some, others use sharing passwords as a sign of intimacy and trust. Research showed that girls were more likely to share than boys. Overall, 38% of girls reported sharing a password with a friend or significant other while only 23% of boys reported sharing.
Teenage online users aged 15 were amongst the highest percentage, with a reported 43% saying they shared passwords.
The findings give an insight into the way the internet has shaped the relationships of modern online users who have grown up with the internet. The internet is such a large part of everyday life, that trusting others with personal online information is beginning to be viewed as a part of intimacy and closeness amongst social groups.
Sharing is especially common among users of social network sites; 33% of all teen social network site users say they have shared a password with a friend or significant other, compared with only 19% of teen internet users who don’t use social network sites.
Teen ‘expert’ and author of Queen Bees and Wannabees, Rosalind Wiseman compares the teenage pressure to share passwords in relationships similar to that of having sex.
"The response is the same: If we’re in a relationship, you have to give me anything," she told the New York Times.
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