The 5 risks of sharing your password

The 5 risks of sharing your password

Regardless of whether you’re guilty of this crime, you’d probably be surprised to learn that 34% of workers share their passwords with their coworkers, according to reports from SurveyMonkey.

There is an astonishing number of accounts changing hands every day. Also, Experian found that 25- to 34-year-olds sign up for an average of 40 accounts per email address. On the 40 accounts, each individual used only five different passwords. You don’t have to be Leonhard Euler to point out that there may be some risk involved here.

But what are the real risks?

Today, we’ll go over five of the risks of sharing your passwords with your colleagues:

1. Potential loss of ownership

When you share your password with someone else, you risk giving that individual access to every account you own with the same password — and likely even those with similar passwords.

If one of those passwords is for a social media platform, an angry co-worker might change your profile picture to embarrass you. If one of these passwords is for your email account, you’re even more at risk because email plays a role in Zero Trust and resets all other passwords.

When a hacker gets into your email account, they can change your personally identifiable information—like your address and phone number—to anything they choose. Not only does this allow them to make purchases on sites like Amazon at your expense, it also allows Amazon to send the purchases directly to the hacker. Your password sharing has actually made it possible for someone else to claim your identity and lock you out of your own digital life. (Also read: 7 Sneaky Ways Hackers Can Get Your Facebook Password.)

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2. Hacking and phishing

When you enter your username and password on your computer at work or at home, you probably don’t look and make sure no one is looking over your shoulder. That’s because you’re probably confident about your computer’s security; Macs are inherently quite secure with their built-in antivirus systems, while your Windows computer may be secured by Norton, Kaspersky or McAfee.

Naturally, you are going to be more careful about the security of your own passwords. Unfortunately, your colleagues may not share the same concerns about security; there is no guarantee that spyware running on their computers has been detected.

If your colleagues have been careless in the past, a keylogger that detects logins and passwords may be active on their computer, and if they are still careless, a phishing email with a link to a malicious website form could put you at even higher risk. Also, if your colleague’s computer isn’t protected and your password has been saved by them on their desktop, what’s to stop someone else in the office from coming across your password? The risk is infinite. (Also read: The human factor in cyber security: What puts you at risk.)

The truth is that when you hand over your username and password to a colleague, regardless of the anti-virus software you have installed on your computer, it makes you much more vulnerable to being hacked from one of your colleague’s computing devices.

3. The butterfly effect

According to the Verizon Data Breach Investigations Report, 81% of company-wide hacking-related breaches are due to stolen or weak passwords. The most important thing to understand here is that if hackers are able to gain access to just one point in your company’s system, it becomes much easier for them to gain access to other parts of the network.

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By sharing something as simple as your email account password with a colleague over text, confidential customer information can be leaked – which in turn can lead to legal problems for your company. In fact, if this happens, your role in the company will likely come into question at this point.

Even sharing something as simple as your office Wi-Fi password with a visitor increases an attacker’s ability to perform man-in-the-middle attacks or even DNS hijacking later. Even when the service you are lending access to does not seem very important at face value, one must consider its true value as an entry point to the rest of the network.

4. Unwanted breaches of privacy

Perhaps you want your colleague to respond to comments on the company’s YouTube channel on your behalf. For such an effort, you may be tempted to give your colleague access to your own Google account.

However, because services like Google track browsing history across devices, your colleague will instantly have access to all the videos you’ve watched on YouTube, the websites you’ve visited, your private calendar events, and maybe even the documents, photos, and videos you store on Google Drive .

In the era of remote work, when business accounts are often used on mobile phones, personal laptops and home devices, you not only risk an invasion of privacy, but in the worst case scenario, you can be exposed to blackmail and even have sensitive media from your personal computer . devices leaked to the web. (Also read: Cyber ​​security concerns are increasing for remote work.)

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5. Productivity declines

If you’re more cyber-savvy than the average Joe, but your company culture requires you to share passwords every now and then for certain apps, you might feel the need to check your co-worker’s computer for viruses, look over your shoulder when they use your account — or in at best, you will have to change your password twice. The first time so your colleague doesn’t know the password you’re using is similar to your other account passwords – and the second time to lock your colleague out when they’re done, giving you back control of your account and identity.

The problem is that when password sharing becomes a common practice across the board, productivity is likely to decrease because employees have to spend valuable work time managing and protecting their passwords. Even worse, when time becomes an asset that is continually wasted, the company’s revenue is likely to be adversely affected. (Also read: How cyber attacks affect unit owners and board members.)


There’s a solution to every single challenge on this list: a password manager designed to automatically manage the hassle of organizing, managing and revoking access rights. Be sure to check out Passwork, for example.

Passwork, which can be either a hosted or cloud-based password manager, allows you to store passwords in a protected vault, manage user rights, track changes, monitor security and use one-click login.

Screenshot of the Passwork user interface.

To learn more about Passwork and request a demo version of their password manager, be sure to visit their website today.

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