Secondary: It's Private

It is important to protect your online identity.

What’s the issue?

Sharing a password with someone who is close to you might seem like an expression of trust and intimacy, however it can become a problem if the relationship breaks down and it can actually undermine trust.

Why does it matter? 

  • being in a close relationship doesn’t mean that you have given away your individuality and right to privacy 
  • if your relationship breaks down, you may not get to change your password before your partner, who may be hurt and angry decides to send unpleasant messages to all your friends, for example 
  • if the person you’re sharing your password with isn’t as careful as you are, your privacy may be compromised by other parties who see your personal material—you could become a victim of all kinds of fraud 
  • someone else having your password means you could be locked out of your own account
  • someone else having your password means they can pretend to be you online
  • if you don’t tell everyone who sends you an email that it may be read by someone else as well, you are not respecting the right to privacy of your other friends.

Advice

'Private' means it's not for everyone 

  • there is a range of information for which you are alone responsible, and for which you will be held responsible if something goes wrong.

My friends might not be your friends 

  • just because someone shares something with you it does not give you permission to pass it on or show it to others.

Rules and guidelines about privacy are there to protect you and your identity 

  • thinking 'it won’t happen to me' is not taking responsibility for your activities online or offline. Be aware of what you can do to protect your personal information, online identity and the access to digital material you create. If you are not sure what to do, ask a trusted adult.

Printable advice sheet

To download a copy of this advice sheet, see: