Online portfolio requires password

Our studio is reviewing online portfolios to find an intermediate level designer. We found one candidate that sent us a link along with a password to get into their site.

Should this raise a red flag? I ask because why would it be necessary to password protect their work? Is it common nowadays, or is this no different than sending a private pdf?

I don’t see it as a big red flag as long as the candidate understands it may be an inconvenience and there are a lot of decision makers who “can’t be bothered by the trouble.”

Could be:

  1. The candidate has projects that can not be shared publicly yet

  2. (and my favorite) they are sick of the rampant stealing that happens on the internet, and might actually want to pursue some of these projects rather than stumbling across them on Alibaba a year later.

Those are exactly the reasons.
I would almost consider it a plus since you are assured that you will see the person’s latest work.
Generally you would also expect someone to have a public portfolio but I can imagine they only want to show you one.

Nothing wrong with it, I see it all the time.