Sharing is caring?
January 25, 2012 6:14 PM   Subscribe

Is there any risk involved in giving my university student ID and password to an acquaintance?

A friend of a friend is looking for work, and has asked me for access to my law school's job board. She would need my student ID and password to be able to sign in and view the postings. I have no reason to doubt her intentions. She graduated from (a different) law school last year and has had a tough time with job searching. Our mutual friend is not a close friend of mine, but she is a dependable, trustworthy sort and her job-seeking friend seems to be of the same ilk. Our mutual friend made efforts to help both me and my husband out when we were looking for work, so I'd like to return the favor when it comes to her friends needing help.

But I have this nagging feeling that my university student ID and password is the kind of thing I shouldn't be giving out unless there is a very good reason for it. I'd be giving a mere acquaintance easy access to pretty much all my confidential school info, like student records or whatever. Then again, what would anyone possibly want with that? I graduated a few years ago, so it's not like my student ID is currently active.

So, hive mind, what's the risk? Is there a concrete risk that hasn't occurred to me, or am I just being paranoid? Should I go ahead and share?

There's another issue which has also given me pause. When I wrote to my law school's career counselor to ask for the password to the job board, she asked me not to share the password with non-alumni folks. She explained that she'd been having difficulties with people from all over the country using the job board (so at least some alumni have been sharing their IDs and passwords), and reasoned that the job board is closed to public access because she provides the board as a benefit to her students. She believes that sharing access with non-alumni takes away any advantage she has tried to give them. I suppose if she has gone to the trouble of cold-calling potential employers and facilitating the job postings, it is a little unfair to her and her students. What are your thoughts on this?
posted by keep it under cover to Work & Money (21 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
When I wrote to my law school's career counselor to ask for the password to the job board, she asked me not to share the password with non-alumni folks.

There's your answer.
posted by Linnee at 6:16 PM on January 25, 2012 [9 favorites]


She believes that sharing access with non-alumni takes away any advantage she has tried to give them. I suppose if she has gone to the trouble of cold-calling potential employers and facilitating the job postings, it is a little unfair to her and her students.

There's your other answer.
posted by Sweetie Darling at 6:18 PM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


Most universities STRICTLY FORBID this. So, you should read your college's manual about this. You could be suspended or something if the school finds out.
posted by two lights above the sea at 6:18 PM on January 25, 2012 [5 favorites]


I certainly would not share that information with an acquaintance, and probably not even a good friend.

To be a good friend, especially in light of the kindness of the mutual friend, I would copy/paste some job postings that fit the work the acquaintances is looking for and email them onwards.
posted by sawdustbear at 6:18 PM on January 25, 2012 [13 favorites]


So, hive mind, what's the risk? Is there a concrete risk that hasn't occurred to me, or am I just being paranoid?

There is no significant risk associated with this. It sounds like you have a reasonable level of trust in the person, so I wouldn't hassle it.

Should I go ahead and share?

That's a different question. Since you've been explicitly and personally asked not to share, I would say that this is not "break a rule for an acquaintance" territory.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:22 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


No, I would never ever share this information with an acquaintance. I probably wouldn't share it with my husband. If she is in the same room with you tell her you'll log her in while she browses, but giving your password away is a bad idea.
posted by brainmouse at 6:27 PM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I would copy/paste some job postings that fit the work the acquaintances is looking for and email them onwards.

How to be a friend, not a criminal.
posted by halfbuckaroo at 6:29 PM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't share credentials with my live-in girlfriend of 5+ years.
posted by Brian Puccio at 6:49 PM on January 25, 2012


So, hive mind, what's the risk? Is there a concrete risk that hasn't occurred to me, or am I just being paranoid? Should I go ahead and share?

I am usually a huge "fuck the man, share everything!" person and even I'd maybe not do this. You've been asked not to. There's a compelling reason that is a little firmer than just "it bites into our revenue stream". There's also the weird law school aspect where on the off chance that if it did come to light that you were doing this, there might be weird law school repercussions in a community that has a "character and fitness" aspect to passing the bar. So I can see many other ways you can help your friend of a friend out, but I would not give them your credentials, personally.
posted by jessamyn at 6:54 PM on January 25, 2012 [2 favorites]


I wouldn't share it.

And you shouldn't need to. Most job boards contain jobs that are also posted elsewhere; if the jobs aren't posted elsewhere, the poster is looking for applicants specifically from that school, so your friend of a friend doesn't meet their requirements. If you happen to peruse those jobs, and see something that is in their geographic location, you might mention the opportunity or pass the specific opening along for her to see if it's posted somewhere else (it probably is).
posted by dpx.mfx at 6:54 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Given that with that information your friend could also gain access to your private financial aid info (aka your SSN and other sensitive items), I would say no. Put her in touch with your career advisor and see if they can't help her in another way.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 6:59 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


No. Offer to send her the jobs if you feel like it, but don't give her your login information.
posted by elizeh at 7:10 PM on January 25, 2012


If she's smart enough to pass the bar, she's smart enough to figure out how to conduct her own jobhunt. I wouldn't do it.
posted by sugarbomb at 7:25 PM on January 25, 2012


I administer a similar resource as part of my job. A few years ago, in the course of routine database maintenance, I discovered clear evidence that a user had shared credentials in the way you are considering. In accordance with our terms-of-use policy, this person was banned from accessing the resource indefinitely. A concrete risk is that, if discovered, you could lose your access to the resource and not have it if you need it.
posted by neko75 at 8:22 PM on January 25, 2012 [1 favorite]


Then again, what would anyone possibly want with that

You should consider that information you don't control is information you don't control. Your school may have used SSNs (or equivalent) or other personally identifying information (PII) in your records, the systems that your friend-of-a-friend uses to access these databases may not be as secure or sanitized as your own, and it really only takes a little bit of info to get a thread worth pulling.

Don't share your access.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 8:50 PM on January 25, 2012


No, please don't do this. For all of the above reasons. And, if the school has enough problems with people sharing logins/passwords they might just shut the job board down, screwing everyone over.
posted by sbutler at 9:58 PM on January 25, 2012


Can you give her access for one or two days and then change the password? (Let her know it's a temporary password you are giving her). If you can't change the password later, I wouldn't do it. It's not that you worry about her being trustworthy, but what if she also decides to pass the username/password on to someone else in the future? She might trust them. She might be wrong. They might pass it on. The details could end up in the hands of some asshole who could do anything with them. Who knows what info the university has about you in their system? It's probably not just grades, but even if it were, what if someone ordered a copy of your transcript and photoshopped it to look like it was theirs? Unlikely, perhaps, but it could come back to bite you and I don't think it's a risk you should take.
posted by lollusc at 10:03 PM on January 25, 2012


you could lose your access to the resource and not have it if you need it.
Now there's your answer. And that is what you say in case your friend or friend of a friend says, "Aw, come on, don't you trust me?"

Also, I don't understand why your friend of a friend doesn't just consult his own alumni job board, the one run by the law school from which he graduated.
posted by hhc5 at 10:33 PM on January 25, 2012


Thanks for the reality check, folks. :)
posted by keep it under cover at 11:58 PM on January 25, 2012


Very bad idea. And quite frankly the reason for doing it is quite lame. Your mutual friend has a law degree so I assume he or she is reasonably intelligent. Such a person should not need to ask for access to the confidential information of others to look for a job. This is absurd.
posted by Seymour Zamboni at 4:35 AM on January 26, 2012


I think my sympathy for her situation came close to overwhelming my good judgment on how far I should go to help her.

In case anyone is interested to know, the process for getting called to the bar in Canada is quite a bit different than it is in the United States. In Canada, there is a year long process new law grads must complete... a practical legal training course (which includes a number of exams), and nine months of "articling" with a law firm. Not all law firms offer articling positions, and competition is really stiff. It sucks big time for new grads, since you can't get called to the bar and can't call yourself a lawyer until you've finished your articles. And the longer you go without finding an articling position, the less likely it is that you'll ever find one since the law schools keep churning out fresh new grads. So I really feel for her, and I don't blame her for trying everything she can to get new leads.

Thanks for all your opinions and helping me see the situation objectively.
posted by keep it under cover at 12:08 PM on January 26, 2012


« Older Five boroughs, five drinks....   |  PDFs created in Word opening s... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.