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Is it safe to let my daughter purchase online using my email address?


My daughter is using my email address to purchase goods instead of using her own email address. Is this a dangerous procedure?

It depends on two things: what you think of your daughter and what she thinks of you. :-)

Now, I’m assuming that we are only talking about your email address and not your credit card. When you are handing over financial information to someone else, even your daughter, that’s a whole other game and a different set of issues.

When we come down to just the email address, things are actually relatively safe, but there are a few risks that you (and she) should keep in mind.

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Risk to you #1: Questionable places

The biggest risk to you is if your daughter makes a purchase from what I’ll simply call “questionable places.”

You may end up getting more spam. Your email address will be in the databases of those retailers and any other companies that with whom they choose to share.

Risk to you #2: Internet history

She’s also building a history associated with your name & email address.

Think of it like a buyer on eBay purchases. Again, depending on exactly where she’s shopping, the various places may be developing an overall “reputation” associated with your email address based on her activities.

Emails Hacked!Risk to you #3: Password safety

If she’s using this as an actual login to these sites, then make sure that you always use a unique and strong password.

By unique, I mean make sure that it’s a password that you don’t use (especially not in conjunction with that same email address) anywhere else.

If a company’s security turns out to be less than acceptable and you don’t  know where she’s buying things, then you don’t want that password leaking out if it’s the same one that you use everywhere else.

As this is just an email address, I can’t really think of any other risks I’d call significant.

Risk to her: Lack of privacy

The biggest risk to your daughter in using your email address is the lack of privacy.

You now know everything that she’s buying. You could also shut her down: cancel purchases, close her accounts, and do that kind of thing.

Heck, maybe that’s what you intended all along. :-)

Now I’ll admit, it is convenient to share shopping accounts. For example, my wife and I share our Amazon account (which I suspect isn’t all that uncommon).

To be fair, it’s  not that difficult to set up an email account for your daughter to use as well – if what I’ve mentioned so far seems to be risky.

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2 comments on “Is it safe to let my daughter purchase online using my email address?”

  1. Another option would be to add a disposable address to Mom’s account for daughter to use. Mom would still then see all the messages, :-) but should something occur the disposable address can be deleted without effecting the main address.

    In fact, it is my opinion that it is a good idea to set up a disposable address for each online purchasing account, so it can be shut down if too much Spam is received to it or if you end the relationship with the online company.

    Yahoo Mail for example, allow up to 500 disposable addresses to be added to the main account.

  2. There is the potential danger that the purchases could be viewed as being made by YOU, the email Address Holder, using your daughter’s Credit or Debit Card, without her knowledge and consent!


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