The Burden of Ending Online Account Sharing


Researchers: Borke Obada, Yue Huang, and Konstantin Beznosov

Many people share online accounts, even in situations where high privacy and security are expected. Naturally, the sharing of these accounts does not endure forever. This paper reports the privacy and security challenges that people experience when they stop online account sharing. We conducted semi-structured interviews with 25 participants who stopped sharing at least one online account in the 12 months preceding the study. Our results suggest that users experience cognitive and psychosocial burdens when ending account sharing. We offer suggestions for how to improve the design of online accounts to support users better when they end account sharing.