Don't Share Your Password, Even with Co-Workers

If you want a co-worker to log in to your laptop or e-mail, or to access a shared folder, your calendar, or other online application or resource, don't share your username and password!

Instead, always use the built-in delegation or sharing function of whatever you want to share, and grant permissions to the other person. Select the other person's user name or e-mail address, and select what permissions that user should have (such as read-only vs. edit). Every app is different. Delegating access to your Google-hosted Inbox is very different from sharing a Microsoft OneDrive folder, or your calendar in Microsoft Outlook. And in some cases, it's best done by your IT support provider in the administrator's console for the relevant resource. To allow someone else log in to your laptop, you should create a new user account on the laptop for that user. If you're not sure how to do any of this, contact your IT support provider for help.

By doing it this way:

  • You won't have to deal with problems that arise when a second form of authentication is required (such as a confirmation prompt on your phone) for someone else to log in using your identity.
  • You retain control of your identity in relation to these resources and apps; your co-worker will access your resources using his own identity using only his own user name and password. Think about the problems you'd face if he gets prompted to change your password at login!
  • You don't need to worry whether, with the password you gave him, he can access other resources of yours that you didn't intend to share.
  • When needed, you can remove his access without having to reset your password.
  • You foster an environment of attentiveness to information security in your organization.

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