I work in a big company in Germany, where we all have our computers administrated by IT people. To access my computer I have to input a username and a password to log into my account.

DISCLAIMER: I know that system administrators could access a computer anyway.

We have a program whose only license is linked to my account; my boss doesn't want to buy another license, since this program is going obsolete in a year or so. While I was away, some colleagues needed to work with this software, therefore they asked for my password, which I regretfully gave.

When people log into their account, they can see a lot of stuff about themselves. I cannot be sure, but I am strongly convinced, that those people looked into my account and accessed some data they were not supposed to see (my contract details and so on...).

Afterwards I changed it, of course. I asked IT for another solution in the future, which they provided but doesn't work, and they won't bother wasting time on this again, because it's really only my problem.

In some time I will have to go on holiday and most probably I will face the same "we need to work with your computer" problem. What's the right course of action here? Can I refuse to give them my password? Is it even legal to morally compel people to do that?

EDIT: I would like to give everyone a follow-up, since this question was so popular. I went to another of my bosses and explained the situation, clarifying (very professionally) that I intended to give up my password no more. She told me that she agrees and would pass the request to IT again. In a month I will have holiday and we'll see what happens.

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    Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. Please edit clarifications into the post. Aug 27, 2017 at 18:22

14 Answers 14


Do not give anybody your password. If they lack the resources to do their work then they have to take this up with their superiors.

The problem is not primarily your privacy (although this surely is unpleasant), the problem is that your colleagues can use your credentials to impersonate you, send e-mails in your name, maybe access files or resources they should not have access to and generally do mischief in your name to an extent that affects all of the company. Your boss cannot reasonably expect you to risk legal issues to make life more comfortable for others.

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    @Noldor130884, I understand that, but you should adopt the same attitude - accessing your machine is not possible without a valid user account (and from there on it is an IT problem, not yours). Aug 24, 2017 at 10:32
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    @Noldor130884 in which case - it is "not possible" for anyone else to use the software as long as you have to compromise security to allow access to.
    – HorusKol
    Aug 24, 2017 at 11:17
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    @Noldor130884 Next time installing this kind of software look for a "install for anyone using this computer" option, almost any tool has this feature and enables the software to be used for any account. Another way is to create a Dummy account. What you can do now is to ask IT to create another account for you and rename your actual login name to Dummy. Of course your boss must manage that computer sharing.
    – jean
    Aug 24, 2017 at 11:43
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    @jean and Eike, there are many softwares out there where the license is tied to the user account, not to the machine. It may only need to be installed once, but every user needs to purchase their own license to use it. But yes, having a separate account just for that software would be a viable option.
    – David K
    Aug 24, 2017 at 12:05
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    This, 100%. If management is not willing to pony up for a second license then maybe having a week where no one can do their work because you're off on vacation is the thing that will finally convince them that another license is worth the money. If management tell you to share your password then maybe you should start looking for a job at a company that values security a bit more. (I wonder how they'd get their work done then?!)
    – Steve-O
    Aug 24, 2017 at 14:02

Can I refuse to give them my password?

Given that this is Germany, I would be very surprised if you wouldn't be required to refuse. Every single German working contract I have seen contained a paragraph about never under any circumstances giving out your credentials to the company's systems. To anybody.

So go back home, check your contract to make sure it's standard and refuse to give your credentials to anybody. If needed, your IT can impersonate you legally, by leaving a correct audit trail in their system. Making that crappy software work in combination with your cheap supervisor is not your job. That's the IT departments job. Your job is to not break your contract.

It might help to word your refusal non-aggressively and offer solutions (although you know just as well as I do that it's not actually a real solution to change your contract. HR will just tell your boss to do a better job):

"Hey boss, I just came across this part of my contract where it says I may never give out my credentials. I feel very uncomfortable giving out my credentials given that I signed a document saying I never would. I would very much prefer IT to solve this. The alternative might be to go through HR to get this clause out of my contract."

This might shift the conversation from a feeling of you not wanting to help, to you wanting to help but being hindered by the company's paperwork.

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    Rather than HR, and given this is a big German company, there's probably a position tasked with defining this kind of policy (which would then be added to the contract as an annex, marked as internal company policy, or similar). I wouldn't proactively attempt to address this with your boss, but wait until next request (otherwise, you could be told that this was already fixed / wouldn't be happening again), and if that happens explain to your coworker (or your boss if he's the one asking you that) that such document doesn't allow you to.
    – Ángel
    Aug 24, 2017 at 18:14
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    Should your boss that you give him [or your coworker] your personal password in violation with the policy, you should get that in writing, and consult that with such person/department tasked with such internal policy (but I don't think he would go that far, though).
    – Ángel
    Aug 24, 2017 at 18:15
  • That's a great point. And for that matter, IT can force-reset your password if needed to give others access to "your" accounts. Aug 24, 2017 at 19:33
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    That position would be the Datenschutzbeauftragter, or possibly the Betriebsrat (that's the work council) if you want to go at it from another angle. But you do have to give out the credentials to certain people. I.e. my device is encrypted, and only I know the password. If there was a security breach and IT suspected I was related to it, I'd have to tell them the password so they can decrypt. I'd have the right to be present while they search, and I can ask them to search private files latest (because in theory those are private), but I have to give out the password. It's company property
    – simbabque
    Aug 25, 2017 at 13:12
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    Its also important to know that German labor law has the concept of "Betriebliche Übung" (company practice) which basically means sections in the working contract are void, if it is common practice in the company to break them. For example my contact contains a section forbidding the use of software not cleared by IT. That makes sense for the people working in administration but not for software engineers. I couldn't do my job if I would adhere to that. Since almost everybody in IT, hundreds of people, break that law and this is well known, they can't just fire you for breach of contract.
    – seg
    Sep 1, 2019 at 9:28

Ask for a new account and laptop.

If you, yourself have put personal information/data onto your company-provided (and owned) laptop and account, that's your problem.

However, if the credentials for that account allows access to your details in the HR system and other employee confidential information, then sharing that account is a problem.

If this piece of software is meant to be shared, then leave the laptop and account as a pool device and move to another account.

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    Then this is the larger problem. Your company's policy is allowing other people to view your employee-confidential data. I'd take this to HR and raise the concern with them and get some pressure from that direction.
    – user44108
    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:19
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    What will happen is that HR will bother my boss, my boss will get angry at me, the colleagues which were snooping as well. This may result in a very toxic workplace situation Aug 24, 2017 at 9:22
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    I'm afraid that is that, or plainly deny the password. Or do nothing and lose any data privacy you may still have
    – LaintalAy
    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:26
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    Have you pointed out to your boss that allowing people access to your domain credentials also allows them access to your employee-confidential information?
    – user44108
    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:26
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    @Noldor130884 At that point, you should return to your boss and tell them that IT's solution didn't work and they refused to pursue the issue further. Your boss should then escalate the issue. If they don't, then there's either something your boss doesn't understand, something you don't understand, or you have a bad boss. Aug 24, 2017 at 14:31

The real problem here is the difference between account and identity.

Normally a systems account represents a person's identity. In this case it looks like the OP's company has failed in respecting the non-mentioned software's license clause which is bound to an individual by means of his (domain?) account. But accounts are still computer objects, they can be created and deleted at IT administrator's will

With this answer I would like to highlight that, in my understanding, the company provisioning software for a single licensed account and allowing others to use it, is willingly committing into software piracy. They may have had at least the smart thought to license the software to a fictional account. Technical/service accounts are widely used for any kind of purpose, including illegal/unethical ones. I am not to discuss about the goodness of this practice

Definitely, I see two options here.

Switch accounts

One is to discuss with IT the opportunity to switch the license to a service account. This might not be done easily, as it could be impossible under the software's license. Another option, or better trick, is to make your current account (which is a software object) a shared account. Even if it carries your name, your company may establish that the john.doe identity is a shared identity, and give you a new personal j.doe account. A different object, but at least one that you can bound to your identity and use private information with. The old john.doe must be detached from anything personal to you, or better any enterprise resource than the software you are licensed to.

The above fixes the privacy issue but not the piracy issue.

Put constraints

Since you know that multiple people can access your account, you must make constraints, better in written form, to prevent things turn against you. First, you have to establish with senior management and HR that your account can be used by different individuals. Then you must, if you can, purge any data that you can deem sensitive from your account. A lot of employees store personal information such as their Google account in their workstations. While not acceptable in large organizations and theoretically unacceptable in general (as a work computer can't be used for anything rather than work), it is an established practice of the kind "we don't ask, you don't tell".

Then if your account is enabled at accessing work data that is very personal to you, like payroll, and you have real concerns about people trying to abuse them, you have very little options:

  • Supervise interactions (you type the password and overwatch coworker until logout)
  • Demand audit logs, and regularly check them
  • File a written complaint to HR or even escalate to labour authority in your jurisdiction (this one will turn really bad against you)

Eventually, if your employer insists in demanding others to know your system password you won't have a good time dealing with this.

A story about sharing passwords

One of my customers, either from past or current, was a well structured financial institution with severe policies. One day our IT representative helped us remoting into employees workstations on different branches by typing his administrator password and witnessing our work.

It happened that this individual was called by his manager for a meeting that could not be rescheduled, and no IT replacement was available. Rather than letting us go he gave us his password (he could change it priorly) and politely told his manager that he was about to report the event to Security management, just to notify them that a different individual was temporarily and exceptionally approved for administrative access.

That was a strong act of trust to us, which was well repaid with excellent professionalism.


You should not be sharing your password and your employer should not ask you to do so. If its simply that the software can only be installed on one machine it should be possible to create multiple user accounts on that machine, and make the application available to both, so that more that one user can log on securely without the need to share passwords. This is possible on Windows and OSX.

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    The op clearly states that the software is locked to his account, not his machine.
    – Odalrick
    Aug 24, 2017 at 10:14
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    If that is true (seems odd) then the company should buy another licence. You should not share the password Aug 24, 2017 at 10:19
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    Or just create a new account for OP. And leave the current account available for multiple users. Aug 24, 2017 at 19:57
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    @robjwilkins Its not that uncommon. For example a user locked license is one of the matlab licenses you can get. Although in the case of matlab you aren't supposed to allow other people to use the software. If this is a user locked license I wouldn't be surprised if they had a similar restriction.
    – Matt
    Aug 25, 2017 at 4:20

In addition to redundantly agreeing with other answers that you absolutely should refuse to allow others into your account due to the personal information that is accessible through it, I also suggest the following dead-simple way to fix this problem:

Get the special software registered under an account that doesn't belong to any person at your company. There can still be only ONE registration if that is what the company wants to do, but then, giving out the password to others doesn't expose your own personal information.

If this is absolutely, completely, categorically impossible, then ask for a new personal user login, and get all your assets/accounts in the other systems at your company transferred to that login. Your old "personal login" is no longer your personal login and can only access that one system. If you were jsmith before, you can be jdsmith or jsmith2 or smithj or something else.

There is no reason to do anything else. Demanding you use your personal account is akin to demanding that you share your salary details with everyone, while they need not share theirs with you. It's a violation of your privacy and something you have every right to politely, but inflexibly firmly, insist on.

  • Have you thought that re-licensing the software might be impossible under the agreement of the software the OP is not mentioning? Aug 28, 2017 at 12:48
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    There has to be some way to reinstall the software. Or issue the employee a new login and revoke the old one so it doesn't have access to the sensitive data. There is no barrier here.
    – CodeSeeker
    Aug 28, 2017 at 14:45
  • No, really, what if the software contains a signed license file that depends on information such as the login name or mac address or whatever? DRMs bound to PC may check for mac address, but the issue is that OP never mentioned the specific software, which is a plus if we want to keep the question generic and on topic (otherwise one would ask on SU how to share the license of that specific software) Aug 28, 2017 at 15:33
  • Oh, ok, try your hardest to find out why my idea can't work. Actually, don't do that. If my answer won't work for the OP, he will let us know. In the meantime, you're raising purely speculative and unlikely barriers. Why? What do you get out of doing this? How about calling the company and asking for their help transferring the license (and revoking the old one)? The very fact that we don't know what the software is or how it works invalidates your objections. My suggestion is NOT off-topic. It is a valid avenue for the OP to get exactly what he wants.
    – CodeSeeker
    Aug 28, 2017 at 15:36
  • Okay, I agree the answer is anyway "demand your IT staff to do it", someway. Soon. Actually right now!!! How, is an IT matter Aug 28, 2017 at 15:56

I think you should push @Pete answer and ask your manager to buy a different pc for that software. You can justify the $400 investment because while someone else is using the software you cant be doing your work. Managers don't like to waste money, so just document the number of hours you waste because this, pro rate with your salary and report to your manager.

Still If you are using Windows you don't need a separated PC. You only need have separated usernames on the same PC. You can create a GUEST account and that account can login on your PC and use the software, but cant access your personal email or other software. When you install a software, Windows will ask "Want to share this application with other or just this user"

So if anyone need to use the software you only give the GUEST password.

  • Buy it yourself? No. It's not your problem.
    – Wildcard
    Aug 24, 2017 at 21:38
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    @Wildcard No, I mean ask the manager to buy a new pc. Aug 24, 2017 at 21:39

For the sake of completeness—and not because I'm convinced this is the solution for your case—

There is a technical solution for Windows if this is a genuine case.

I am going to assume you are technical enough to do this. It's not hard if you know how, but if you don't know how, chances are high that you'll mess things up and your computer will stop working. And I highly doubt your IT department will be interested in making this work for you.

  1. Make a sector-by-sector .VHD image of your disk composed of only your Windows partition somewhere.

  2. Create a "native VHD" boot entry for that image with an appropriate name they'll recognize.
    This is where you'll likely mess up if you don't know what you're doing.
    You'll have to take care of a lot of things besides knowing how to do the boot manager stuff, like making sure each OS assigns the same drive letter to the corresponding partition, which can be tricky since the copies are identical.

  3. Boot into that copy of your OS, then delete everything in your account that they shouldn't see.
    If you manage your files like most people, this will be a lot of work. You'll have to not just remove documents but also scrub histories and temporary folders, etc.

  4. Change or remove the password for that account.

  5. Change that account to a limited account and change file permissions on the outer OS as needed so that people can't use the inner OS to spy on the outer OS. This may take a while.

  6. Disable any "backdoors" that might exist, e.g. put a password on your BIOS/UEFI settings and lock them to the internal disk so they can't boot off a USB drive or CD, or remove any hidden administrator accounts, etc... again, if you don't know what you're doing, you'll mess up.

  7. Once the system is secure, tell your coworkers that they can reboot the computer and log in with the inner OS to do their work in "your" account.

  8. You can just use the outer account to do your regular work.

While not impossible, it is very unlikely the software will fail to work in this scenario. If it does, one possibility is that the disk or partition serial number is being checked, and the virtual image's is different. You can try to fix that manually and it may work. If it doesn't, then the program is doing a really invasive inspection of your system's hardware configuration.

Linux has the ability to do the equivalent. If this is a Mac, though, you might be out of luck.

However, it sure smells like this is not a genuine case

and your coworkers might be using this as an excuse to see files they shouldn't see.

Absent a boss's order, I would personally only do this if the coworkers were close friends I trusted before we even became coworkers. It can be lot of pain to go through, is not foolproof in terms of security, and likely not something reasonable to expect given your job description.

  • Everything clearly goes via the IT Department in the OP's company, so there's no way this suggestion would ever be possible. There probably has to be a request for each single program that wants to be installed and there's no way that BIOS access would be allowed. It's probable that the OP would be in violation of their employment contract of performing actions on their computer that are prohibited by IT security.
    – icc97
    Aug 25, 2017 at 9:43
  • @icc97: BIOS access is pretty optional if you were following what I was saying, it's just an additional measure against an attack that really shouldn't happen. There's no program being installed either, it's all natively possible in Windows. The only thing you need is admin privileges so you can image the disk and add a boot entry. If he doesn't have that then this won't work, but that's far from clear to me.
    – user541686
    Aug 25, 2017 at 9:48
  • Deleting is not enough, private data can be read afterwards as well until it is physically overwritten. (Though, on Linux, zerofree can punch hones into the underlying virtual disc’s backing store file given good enough virtualisation tools — not VMware/VirtualBox.)
    – mirabilos
    Aug 25, 2017 at 16:33
  • @mirabilos: actually it is enough -- you missed the part about them not being admin.
    – user541686
    Aug 25, 2017 at 17:14
  • @Mehrdad it’s easy enough to become admin, so…
    – mirabilos
    Aug 30, 2017 at 16:50

Don't give them your password.

Give them the password. Do this after making sure that the password is not your password.

Get this documented in official policy: "The 'user account' named Jsmith is a shared account. Authorized people can read the password by accessing the following document which only authorized people have access to: ..."

Then, when the account is used, nobody is using your password, because it really isn't yours. Despite what some software might call it, this isn't really a "user" account, but Jsmith is just an account name that happens to look very similar to the name of a person who previously had exclusive access to the account's password.

Maybe a shared account is lousy security. Oh well. This can be one of the features that gets fixed by moving to a better solution. In the mean time, risk can be minimized by implementing some controls on who has access to the latest password. And, you can rest easily knowing that, despite the name looking similar to your name, this isn't actually your account that only you need to protect. The fact that this isn't actually your account is even in officially management-accepted policy.

Issue avoided.

Reality should match the rules. If the rules don't work with a situation, it's better to change the rules so that then the rules are being followed, rather than breaking the rules.


Although there already are a lot of answers, I want to offer a somewhat different perspective. Normally, your machine at work and everything you produce on it during your working hours belong to the company. The only exception is, if your company policy allows it, E-Mail clearly marked as Private. It is not mandatory for a Company to offer you a private account or to keep company-communication private. In fact, it could be considered unprofessional to have "secret" communications or work-areas in some environments.

In your situation I would do two things:

  1. Get your private files and communications off your work-machine. That´s what webmail and personal online-storage are for.
  2. Get a written proof by your superior that your password should be shared with your colleagues. Make sure they understand the ramifications.

Ramifications: These are actually mainly a concern for your Company:

  • Possibilty of company-communication getting to parties they are not intended for.
  • Open door for "social engineering" hacker attacks.
  • Non-provable identity of a possible misdemeanor. This kind of protects you.

Anecdote: The last one actually happened to a friend of mine. He worked at a German tax consulting office, and all the employees knew each others passwords. The Boss found it more practical. One day they had a really bad hire, who send out an email swearing at a customer in a really bad way. Normally this is a valid reason for an instant termination and so she was fired. She filed for wrongful termination. She won the case, because they could not prove conclusively that the mail was really sent by her.

Conclusion: While you superiors can absolutely decide to employ a bad password-policy, the risk of doing so is entirely on them!

  • "get your private files and communications off your work machine. that's what webmail and personal online storage are for". in theory, yes. but it's not uncommon for employers to block access to webmail and/or online storage sites (mine does). I do try to keep personal use to a minmum, but I do give out my work email and phone # in case, say, my children's school/teacher needs to get hold of me.
    – David
    Aug 25, 2017 at 12:31
  • ... I also have some technical e-books on my work machine. This is work-related material but my personal property. There are gray areas, and IMHO you're oversimplifying.
    – David
    Aug 25, 2017 at 12:35
  • So what would be the harm if some colleagues peek into your e-books? Are they one-time read only? In principal it is the right of you employer to forbid you store private data on you company machine. They´d have to license your Books again, on company money then. Again, I don´t recommend to do such nonsense, but there is no law preventing company´s to have stupid policies.
    – Daniel
    Aug 25, 2017 at 14:03
  • They are not one-time read-only, but if they can peek into them, they could also make illegal copies. And banning personal data on company machines might imply the company is responsible for re-licensing such content for employee use ... but companies don't always fulfill their responsibilities, do they?
    – David
    Aug 25, 2017 at 14:12
  • If a company has not explicitly banned private use ahead of time they can’t do that though.
    – mirabilos
    Aug 25, 2017 at 16:35

It sounds to me like there is a bona-fide reason to need to access your account, due to the software on your PC being linked to your account. I would suggest that you request that, if access is needed while you are absent, the IT Team simply reset your password and inform you of the same. You shouldn't need to give up the password.

You say you are "strongly convinced" that people have been snooping. If you have an attitude (to others) that you have something to hide, then they will be more likely to snoop around and see what they can find out. Although this of course would be incredibly unprofessional. You work with these people on a daily basis - do you really distrust them that much?

The computer is a work computer, and if you are storing anything on there that's personal or confidential, shouldn't really have anything personal on there. If there's stuff that has to be on there, then consider password-protecting certain files.

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    He's not referring to something personal probably. When logged in with your own user the intranet in my current job gives you access to your historic of salary, salary raises, etc. No something you want other people to know.
    – LaintalAy
    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:23
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    @eballes Then that should be moved to a seperate system which requires a seperate username and password to access, for security reasons. Anything confidential should never be linked to AD credentials.
    – AdzzzUK
    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:48
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    @Noldor130884 - No, of course I wouldn't, but this is more of a trust issue than anything else by the sounds of it. The issue is, the software is licensed to your account rather than to a generic user. The options are - either change the license (which IT won't do by the sounds of it), or don't have confidential information available on login. Moving it onto another computer may also help, as previously advised. What has your boss said about this?
    – AdzzzUK
    Aug 24, 2017 at 9:52
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    @AdzzzUK I can't not have confidential info available (I don't make the system). I would very much like to move to another pc, but still there isn't budget to buy one. Aug 24, 2017 at 10:19
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    @Noldor130884 If you can't trust you colleagues not to go snooping and your boss doesn't care and not willing to spend the relatively small amount on a new licence, I'd take these as all red flags that you don't want to be working on that team.
    – icc97
    Aug 25, 2017 at 9:34

A new shared PC is the "right" solution, but if you are unable to obtain that, your assigned work laptop can still support multiple login accounts. Many corporate environments allow any domain user to log in to any laptop, have they tried it with their credentials?

Have I.T. create a new domain user, that is clearly dedicated to sharing this software license. I.T. must allow this shared user to log in to your laptop. Now anyone can connect to the laptop with the shared credentials, and use the software. You can even ask I.T. to enable Remote Desktop to this account on your laptop, for your co-workers convenience.

If the software license checks the username, your manager will need to transfer the license to the shared account, and unfortunately you must log in to the shared account when you need to use this software.

(If the laptop is powerful enough, IT may be able to set up a virtual machine for only the cost of a Windows license, and move the software into the virtual machine.)

  • Client versions of Windows will prevent you from using the system locally if anyone connects through RDP, so this still means the OP won't be able to work in the interim.
    – user
    Aug 24, 2017 at 19:29
  • If you buy any software on Apple's app store, the license allows you EITHER use on one computer by any number of persons, OR use by one person on any number of computers. Remote access is not use on one computer, so remote access by different people would be illegal.
    – gnasher729
    Aug 24, 2017 at 20:44
  • @MichaelKjörling his question indicated that he "had to" give the password because he was on vacation and not available. You are correct that only 1 user would be able to use the licensed software at a time.
    – axus
    Aug 24, 2017 at 22:02
  • If Remote Desktop is restricted, I recommend Ultra VNC, which I like anyway more than Remote Desktop as it runs much more stable. Server version has to be installed as System service on the machine to which the others connect. The client version of course has to be installed by those who want to connect the machine: uvnc.com Aug 25, 2017 at 15:12

If the technical approach fails, solve it through people

From the question and comments I make out that the issue is NOT that you are worried that people abuse this method to gain access to confidential corporate data, but that your privacy is at risk. For instance because the password could be used for the HR system.

As technical solutions don't seem to have worked, consider a different approach. There are many possibilities from a simple but clear talk to the one who gets the password, to what I have described below:

Four eyes principle

This method is not foolproof, but probably as good as it gets without seriously upsetting either your boss, IT, or HR.

  1. Create a password that is practically impossible to remember
  2. Give this to someone that you trust with it (For instance because they already have a way to access your account anyway).
  3. Whenever a colleague needs to work, let the trustee enter the password.

An additional step that is mostly relevant if you are in a place where you don't need to re-enter the password to go from regular work access to HR access etc (For instance because of Single Sign On).

  1. Agree that the colleauges are only allowed to work on a location where others can see the screen at all times.

It is of course possible to find ways around these measures, but unless someone is willing to make an effort it should practically stop curious colleagues.

  • Thanks for the reply, but unfortunately I have only 2 colleagues that I should entrust with the password (and I don't). The fourth point is not really an option in my office. Aug 28, 2017 at 12:52
  • @Noldor130884 It may indeed be infeasible, but keep in mind that besides regular colleagues you could also consider IT or HR staff because they already have the ability to access your sensitive data anyway. Aug 28, 2017 at 13:11
  • I know, but if they breach privacy at some degree, they get fired. Some other colleagues didn't agree to anything like that. Aug 28, 2017 at 13:23
  • @Noldor130884 Exactly, that is why I mean that those people could be suitable candidates to type in your password when it is needed. Aug 28, 2017 at 13:25
  • But those are not people who stay in the same building, nor could they be bothered to enter a password for me... This is highly infeasible Aug 28, 2017 at 13:27

I'm going to take an alternative to the "never share your password" line because as correct a rule as it is, in practical situations, in some companies, employees sometimes have to share passwords to keep the company or a particular job running.

First of all set up a new account just for this software - the license will be linked to that account instead of yours. Anyone, including you, who needs to use it will log into that account. This should remove (or at least reduce) the excuses to ask for your password.

Secondly Do not store any personal stuff on your work PC! Take this as a lesson that your work PC is not private. If you must store something personal on it, then have it encrypted or store it in an obscure location that they wouldn't look.

  • You are assuming that: 1) personal data is not stored on the intranet and connected to my account through my login. 2) it is possible / IT is willing to set up a dummy account just for a software. Both of them are in this case wrong. I'm going to downvote especially for the privacy issue. Apr 5, 2018 at 13:22
  • @Noldor130884 - But why are you storing anything personal on your work equipment at all, be it your work PC or the work intranet, especially now that you know other people could be using your account? Keep it at home. And setting up a separate account is a perfectly reasonable suggestion. The fact that your IT dept is, for some reason, unable or unwilling to do it certainly doesn't warrant a down-vote for that suggestion.
    – komodosp
    Apr 6, 2018 at 23:36
  • Some informations such as the pay slip just to give you an example may be accessible from the computer. This doesn't have anything to do with storing personal data, since a lot of systems nowadays let you access a "personal area" once you logged in Apr 7, 2018 at 7:23

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