Caregiver asked for my WiFi password. Why would she ask if she is watching my parents and isn't this a security concern?

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Caregiver is very nice and takes care of my parents who are in their 90s. Parents live in my house. When she asked for my WiFi password I was taken aback. Isn't she supposed to be helping my parents? I know there is a lot of downtime when parents are sleeping but I feel uncomfortable giving out my password. Not sure how to handle this. I need to educate myself on how I can better respond to her request.

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I had to read the other comments first. Caregivers, paid caregivers, are not supposed to clean your house. So cwillie's comment about vacuuming doesn't float.

Is she asking to use your computer or just your WiFi. There is a difference. I would have no qualms about giving my WiFi password (I've shared with visiting family) - but I don't allow anyone else to use my computer(s) or tablet(s).

Since I was a 24/7 caregiver for my DH - I needed the downtime with my computer/tablets or I would have gone bonkers. You can only watch them breathe just so much or go crazy.
While DH said I could watch TV while he slept, I preferred to keep the house dark & quiet for him. We both 'lived' in the living room when he was no longer able to sleep in our bed.

As long as your caregiver is ready to 'drop everything' when called, I see no problem with spending time online and unless you are extremely limited, it shouldn't affect you. If you are limited, just ask that she not download anything; say you're worried about infecting your network with viruses.

I hope my 2-cents worth helped.
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Reply to RayLinStephens
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Having Wifi password allows her to get internet access. I don't believe she can access any of your files on your computer unless she knows how to hacks into them. I doubt she does because if she's that tech savvy, she could be making a lot more money working in tech industry instead of care taking the elderly.
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Reply to polarbear
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What is it you want her to do while your parents are napping or watching TV or anything else where she isn't really needed to actively help them? I know that when I had a caregiver for a 6 hour block of time she helped my mom shower, toileted her as needed and served her lunch, then mom napped the rest of the time. That left her with at least 4 hours, so she did a lot of vacuuming. I would have gone stir crazy.
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Reply to cwillie
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Unless you expect the caregiver to be offline for the whole of the time she spends at your parents' house, she needs the WiFi password doesn't she? - like I'd know, I'm not going to be winning any techie of the year awards, that's for certain.

If you're concerned that she might spend time playing Angry Birds that she ought to be giving to care, maybe just clarify a few ground rules about what online activities are and are not acceptable while she's on duty.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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It keeps her from using her data package while she/he is in your home. And if she lives away from your neighborhood there is nothing for which she can use your password.
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Reply to anonymous439773
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demstress, everyone needs a break every now and then. I am at work right now but here I am on the forum but can drop that quickly if need be.

My Dad had caregivers around the clock. He didn't mind them being on their smartphones or tablets as they were doing the work that was needed. Of course, my Dad was still using "dial up" for his computer so no WiFi. The caregivers realized that quickly so some bought something to add to their tablet to get the Internet.
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Reply to freqflyer
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Put this request in context: hotels, cafes, MOST organizations give out their local wi-fi password to customers. I get my brother's, my friends' passwords every time I visit them long enough to need the info. This is normal these days. She only wants to access internet... and why shouldn't she? There is no legal liability for her actions just from accessing Internet via the local wi-fi.
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Reply to AliBoBali
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That question would have made me bristle. Seems intrusive. The price you pay her includes elder care. There's not a clause in the contract for web surfing while client sleeps. I would just say it's a protected line for only those residing in the house. Of course, if she found another wifi nearby to access and check social media or get the latest news when my loved one doesn't have immediate needs, that would be OK with me. Just don't tell me, don't be obvious, and don't ask me to supply that service.
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Reply to GingerMay
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OK guys, here's too much information from the techie perspective.

Depending on how you setup your router and declared your network on your computer, giving the wireless access password may or may not risk compromising the data on your laptop. Routers have at least two passwords - the admin password (used to control router functions including security) and the connection password used to connect to the default/primary SID. That little WPS button doesn't work if the admin has disabled it - it's designed to be used where the router is physically secured. No app is going to break the password if it's setup correctly either (at least not for a couple of years). Of course if the admin password is still set to the default, then all an app has to do is determine the router type and log right in as the admin with the known and published default password.

My router is setup with two SIDs (network IDs) each with its own password; one is for MY use that has top priority on bandwidth and the second guest setup only gets what bandwidth I'm not using. The kids use the "guest" where every device and URL is logged and there are limits on usage and a list of sites that cannot be accessed at all. My personal network is declared a "home" network on my laptop so I can see printers, tablets, and other devices. I would not use the "home" declaration if _anyone_ else was on that network; windows provides much better default protections for "public" networks.

I work from home and need my network to be secure so I spent the time to setup a second "guest" network. I do not recommend you consider this. If you decide to share the network with your care giver and you have concerns over the security of your data, make sure your network is declared "public" on your computer.

One very good method of protecting your laptop is to turn it (or at least the wireless) off when you are not sitting in front of it. Together with a password or fingerprint lock, that leaves your computer fairly well protected unless your care giver is a devoted hacker. You are much more likely to compromise your data by clicking on an email link (and downloading/installing a virus) than having a guest break in using your network.

BTW - if a guest uses your network for illegal purposes, including pirate downloads or viewing child porn, you could become the target of a local/state/federal investigation and need to "prove" you are not the guilty party. That's not difficult if you're willing to allow the authorities to scan your computer/smart phone, but it is a pain.

Hope at least some of that is helpful.
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Reply to TNtechie
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I vote for giving her the code if you like her and want to keep her and don't want to lose her to the family down the street that will give her the password without even thinking twice about it. Good caregivers are like precious gold, like magical unicorns, like four-leaf clovers, like... Well, I'm running out of similes here but you get the idea. I think if she has been getting all needed tasks done and your parents are happy, I wouldn't begrudge her a little free internet.
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Reply to SnoopyLove
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