In 2014, Apple launched an iPhone with a biometrics feature that allowed for up to five users to access the device. This feature elicited a number of online and offline conversations on the topic of password sharing among spouses and partners.
When it comes to password sharing, there is a whole spectrum of opinion. Some couples prefer complete privacy, and others opt to have shared family email accounts and social media profiles that are shared by a couple. Regardless of where you stand on the topic of sharing passwords, there are plenty of reasons couples and domestic partners need to take the necessary steps to make their passwords to bank accounts, social media, investment accounts, emails, and cloud storage available to their significant other, either on a regular basis or by setting up a keychain with a master list of passwords and logins accessible in case of an urgent need. Let’s walk through a few scenarios that you are likely to face, where having access to logins and passwords for your spouse’s account may be needed when life throws you a curveball.
A Keychain Is Not a Free for All
There are instances when having access to all the accounts that belong to your spouse is absolutely urgent and necessary. The majority of time, however, couples may feel like holding on to their privacy allows for a healthy amount of independence and autonomy, and that is just fine. The great thing about digital keychains is that, generally, they are not intended for daily reference; instead, they are available to be used under extraordinary circumstances. Couples can have an added level of peace of mind while still keeping their daily online engagements mostly private.
A Keychain Can Save the Day When Unexpected Illness or Injury Occurs
We hear it again and again. It is essential to have a durable power of attorney as well as a will, but the reality is quite different. Very few of us have all the necessary papers to empower our spouse to take over our affairs with expediency should we become incapacitated. A keychain with logins and passwords to things such as your bank account, as well as your credit card accounts and recurring bills, can be of tremendous help if something happens to your spouse that renders him or her unable to take care of basic tasks like paying bills for the family, whether there is a durable power of attorney or not. By having immediate digital access to your spouse’s passwords, you can take care of bills and other time-sensitive transactions without having to jump hurdles. Timely access to the financial affairs of your spouse can save the family hundreds of dollars in late fees, thus reducing the stress during a period of life that may already be full of complexities.
A Keychain Can Help You Help Your Spouse During Travel Emergencies
We live in a highly mobile society, and many of us travel internationally on a regular basis, both for work and leisure. It is not uncommon to have documents and money misplaced or stolen while on the road. Giving your spouse, who is back at home, access to a keychain with logins and passwords empowers him or her to help you without having to communicate password information by using unsecure channels like online chat on public computers or via phone. For example, your spouse could help you close bank accounts if you don’t have an identity protection plan. Additionally, your spouse will be equipped to do things like moving money around from your account, and coordinating a wire transfer to let you have access to monies until you are able to recover your credit cards and identification documents.
Keychain Access Can Help During a Natural Disaster
Having access to your spouse’s digital life can be radically helpful in the event of a natural disaster when you’re away from each other. A quick look at his or her online activity, such as the last place he or she logged into key accounts, is extremely useful when attempting to pinpoint last geographical locations prior to losing contact. Knowing where your spouse was last will equip everyone involved in rescue operations to better do their job, and possibly save lives.
A Keychain for Passwords Empowers Your Spouse in the Event of Your Death
The death of a spouse can be very traumatic, even when expected. By taking all the necessary steps to make transitions easy, you are letting your spouse know that you love him or her in a highly tangible way. Having immediate access to a variety of online accounts after your passing can facilitate many transactions. It can also help your spouse access financial matters, as well as other digital files that may hold sentimental value, such as photos, emails, scanned documents, and social media profiles.
Be prepared for the unexpected. Set time aside to document your most important logins and passwords along with responses to secret questions. Load your keychain into a cloud-based, secure, digital safe deposit box to ensure both you and your loved one have immediate access should the need arise. When documenting your passwords, take into account unique setups such as two-tier authentication and other forms of validation, and make certain your spouse has a way to access these features. With most individuals having an average of 50 to 100 password-secured environments, having a keychain for your reference and to help your spouse during a life emergency is without question a must-do for responsible families.