Roughly one in three online teens (30%) reports sharing one of their passwords with a friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend. While passwords may be guarded closely by some youth, password sharing among peers can be a sign of trust and intimacy. Online girls are much more likely than online boys to share passwords with friends and significant others (38% vs. 23%), and older teens ages 14-17 are more likely to do so than younger ones (36% vs. 17%). Looking more closely at older girls ages 14-17, nearly half (47%) admit to sharing passwords with friends or significant others.
Password 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 19% of teen internet users who don’t use social network sites. However, there are no significant variations according to the frequency of teens’ social media use, nor by the kinds of privacy restrictions they place on their profile.