Online accounts and connected devices play an ever-increasing role in our daily lives, so it has become harder than ever for people in relationships to determine the limits of personal privacy.
According to global research from Kaspersky Lab and Toluna, 21% of people have spied on their ex-partner via an online account that they had access to but this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the privacy risks that accompany modern partners after a break-up.
"70% of couples share passwords, PINs or fingerprints to access their personal devices, and 26% store some type of intimate data on their partner's device: such as intimate messages from/to the partner (14%), intimate photos of themselves (12%) and intimate videos of them and their partner (11%). In addition, people keep sensitive data in accounts and devices they share with their partner — for example, financial information (11%) or work-related data (11%)," the survey states.
There are some remarkable differences between the sexes, as men are much more likely than women to share their ex-partner's private data publicly as revenge (17% vs. 7%) and use their ex's data for their own benefit (17% vs. 8%). In comparison, women are much more ready than men to delete all their ex-partner's data from their device (55% vs. 49%) and all partner photos or videos following a break-up (56% vs. 48%), the global research revealed.
Women, however, are also prone to some sneaky tactics, with 33% admitting to spying on their ex-partner via social networks compared to 28% of men, the research showed.
"The digital world offers a great way for couples to connect, but also presents significant privacy risks if partners decide to go their separate ways… individuals should always make sure they are careful when sharing anything intimate and know exactly where it is being stored," said Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business at Kaspersky Lab.