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Do you share your log-in and password for your Netflix account with your family? Is that the same password and email address you use for your bank account or credit card?

 

A recent study found that 42% of kids under 21 share their Netflix password. That means 42% of kids are putting their security – and that of their parents – at risk.

 

Children share passwords for a number of reasons. Some include building trust with a friend (remember the conversation you had with yourself before giving a key to your home to a neighbor?), keeping their “Snap-streak” alive on Snapchat, and earning rewards and badges on online games. Often, they may do this when their device has been taken away.

 

What many children fail to realize is once they share a password, they lose control over who has access to their accounts. A password is like a picture. Once it’s shared online, it’s easily shared again. To make matters worse, far too many children and adults use the same log-in and password combination across platforms – you probably log in to your Twitter account with the same combination you use for your credit card and Facebook. 

 

Having this conversation with children and teens about their online safety is as essential as conversations regarding their physical safety. Remind them that privacy is important, and passwords should be their own. Passwords should not be shared with anyone.