I was required to set up a gmail account for my work, now my boss wants access to my password to access my account. Is this smart, legal and can I use two passwords to access my account so I know who is sending what message to clients?

  • 5
    Is there any specific reason this account is gmail instead of a proper company email? (Which might have features to let others read your mail without you needing to share passwords)
    – Erik
    Sep 21, 2016 at 21:23
  • 1
    The two password part is a question for a gmail forum.
    – user8365
    Sep 21, 2016 at 21:31
  • Is it only to be used for work? Did he say why he needs to be able to send and read messages with it? That's what "access" means, right? What industry/level is this? Sep 21, 2016 at 23:27
  • You should also read the Gmail terms of service. They may forbid account sharing.
    – nobody
    Sep 22, 2016 at 3:55
  • 1
    If you were required to set it up for your work and set it up during your work hours, I don't think it's correct to even consider the account yours. That said, even internal company accounts normally just have one person accessing them, so wanting to share an account is strange. Why can't your boss just create a separate gmail account?
    – Brandin
    Sep 22, 2016 at 6:47

1 Answer 1


So there's two things here:

The first is that if this account was set up for work purposes, I would have expected it to have been set up by your IT department. It wouldn't be [email protected] it would be [email protected]. If you set it up by yourself, it's not his and he has no right to access it. You haven't listed what country you're in, but there are laws that protect email access, even in cases where the company owns the accounts. You'd want to consult a lawyer for more info on that.

The second is that there is no reason why he should need access to your account itself. If for some reason access to the account is actually needed, gmail has a baked in feature for that called delegates. Here's the help article on it.

However, I would expect this to only be used for something like "Kathy is on vacation this week, but we need to keep her projects going." Since you're using this for work-only purposes, I'd imagine that won't be a problem per se. That being said, I think it would be better for everyone if you just had an out-of-office for that and said contact Bossy McManagerface for any questions during my absence.

tl;dr - if possible, just set up out of office. If you can't do that, set up a delegate.

  • 1
    Depending on the job, it might very well be [email protected]
    – NotMe
    Sep 22, 2016 at 1:42
  • Small businesses very well might have gmail addresses. If they're too small for their own mail system the use of one of the biggies wouldn't surprise me. I've dealt with multiple small companies where the addresses were gmail. Sep 22, 2016 at 2:00
  • @LorenPechtel If you can afford even a minimum wage employee, you can afford $5.00 a month for a professional email account. It is trivial to set up.
    – corsiKa
    Sep 22, 2016 at 2:40
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    Trivial for a professional to set up--I'm talking about companies that don't have such a person. Sep 22, 2016 at 2:44
  • "If you set it up by yourself, it's not his and he has no right to access it." She was specifically asked and paid to set up an account for company purposes so per default she has exactly no rights to keep it. She did not mention that she was allowed to use it for personal mails so I assume that it is normal company property. It's a different story if the boss wants to impersonate her, but she did not mention anything like that.
    – FooTheBar
    Sep 22, 2016 at 7:46

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