McAfee Love, Relationships and Technology Survey Details Drawbacks About Sharing Private Data

February 5, 2013, By Sanjeev Ramachandran

How secure are you with your mobile devices? Are you the one who locks your keypad, screen as well as all the folders inside that would contain all your private information?

You might have a string of passwords defending your smartphone or tablet, and you may share it with your beloved too. But is it safe enough to entrust all your personal information with another person, even if that person is trustworthy?

Well, that’s what McAfee designed to look with their 2013 Love, Relationships, and Technology survey. The study was to look at the cons of sharing personal data when in a relationship, and how the end of a relationship could lead to misuse of shared details.


The survey speaks of the necessity to protect one’s details from cyber-stalking and online privacy leaks. According to the survey, around two-thirds of smartphone owners have personal details on their mobile devices like bank account information, passwords, credit card numbers and revealing photos, but only 40 percent have password protection on their phones.

This means, 60 percent of the population, who employ mobile gadgets, are under risk of cyber attack and exposure. “We’re all aware of the cases involving celebrities, but you don’t have to be a celebrity to have your personal information exposed,” said Michelle Dennedy, an online security expert for McAfee.

“Sharing passwords with your partner might seem harmless, but it often puts you at risk for a ‘revenge of the ex’ situation, landing private information in a public platform for all to see. Everyone needs to be aware of the risks and take the steps to make sure their personal data is safe and secure,” Dennedy added.

The most popular data shared by partners include bank account numbers (62.5%), health insurance IDs (60.7%), social Security numbers (56.9%), email accounts (59.7%) and passwords (53.6%). The research says that 94 percent of Americans deem their personal data safe with their partners.

But bad break-ups have led to online exposure of private information and according to the study, nearly 60 percent of the time an ex-partner has exposed their exes private photos online.

Even with the risk of exposure, 36 percent of Americans plan on sending romantic images to their partners through text, email and social media on Valentine’s Day.

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