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I've read on New Scientist magazine that in 80% of all cases when people in a relationship share a place where they live one of the spouses knows the other's password, thus making the question I am addressing in this post a real concern.

On some other site, I've read that on average any given person will have about four passwords which they will tend to use on any given site. Over the years I have personally become part of more or less 40 sites where I am registered (social networks, shopping, mobile phone and Internet subscriptions, banking and bills, Google services, etc...).

Now, suppose someone breaks up (perhaps for good), or goes into a divorce, or any other uncomfortable situation where the other person may be able to enter into your accounts and read stuff without you knowing about it, or even worse, carry out modifications, deletions, password changes (or even account deletions!) (which could happen at just about any moment; and who wants lawyers!!!).

Nasty stuff! So, what I would like to ask, is, is there an online web service somewhere, or perhaps an account manager in the cloud (or on your mobile device with cloud backing), that will allow you to bulk-change all passwords you are using everywhere?

  • Ideally, you should be able to specify all your accounts, with some tracking system. Once all have been added, and each of the four passwords assigned to each, any time something happens you bulk-modify all passwords in one step (via a master password used to access the cloud service).

  • What other solution could this problem have. Keeping secrets from the other spouse is impractical and I would even say impossible in most cases, and the same goes for passwords. Is what I am describing possible and has something along these lines already implemented?

  • Or is there perhaps something even better to handle this problem which I have not thought about?

Thank you for sharing your solutions to this omnipresent and vast-reaching problem.

closed as off-topic by Xander, cpast, Jens Erat, Rory Alsop Mar 21 '15 at 20:08

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  • The solution most people use is to not tell your spouse your passwords. Simple. I don't see a use case for sharing them, and in fact in many places it would invalidate your insurance cover etc. DON'T DO IT! – Rory Alsop Mar 21 '15 at 20:08
  • Easy to say. The longer you stay with someone, the longer that someone will say everything is ok, so, perhaps sooner, perhaps later, the wonderful time where no secrets lie in between will come, and voila, the secret password comes out. And later, you'll just regret it. – John Higginstyne Mar 27 '15 at 21:50
  • No. Simple not to. It's not a case of secrets. It's sensible practice. – Rory Alsop Mar 27 '15 at 22:36
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Services such as LastPass have an auto change password feature.

However, this has to be done per site.

The solution of bulk updating everything is to a problem that should not exist in the first place. i.e. Passwords should not be shared between applications. Each service should have a unique, strong password of its own. Otherwise if one service gets compromised and the password is found, the rest go with it.

The idea of using a password manager is to have a strong but memorable password for the master password, and for each site it protects they have a totally random, unmemorable, strong password (e.g. 20 completely random characters). If you wanted to share account details with a trusted partner, then some password managers have functionality to allow this. The account owner would just have to unshare these accounts in the event of breakup before changing the password.

  • Well, I have to tend one password to my desktop computer, one for my mobile device (and accessing that mobile device would give access to so many accounts which the Andorid OS keeps track of!), and then use the same for almost everything else, from social networks, to coding sites, etc... except for banking sites and web hosting sites which have their own password. If I think a site is so dumb that it is going to be transmitting my password in plaintext in the near future if I lose my password or perhaps just as a confirmation, then I just give it a special garbage password. – John Higginstyne Mar 27 '15 at 21:54
  • So, as you can see, from a practical standpoint, everybody uses just a bunch of passwords. I was wondering, can I store a username and password in an OpenID account and avoid the hassle of updating everywhere all the time every time I change my password. On what site could I do this? – John Higginstyne Mar 27 '15 at 21:55

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