Scorned exes may well share intimate content online – survey

4 Feb 2013

Nearly all (94pc) of adults in the US believe their data and revealing photos are safe with their partners, but 13pc of adults have had their personal content leaked to others without their permission, a new survey suggests.

What’s more, nearly 60pc of the one in 10 exes who have threatened to expose risqué photos of their exes online have actually done so, security firm McAfee’s 2013 Love, Relationships, and Technology survey reports.

Men get threatened to have their photos exposed online more than women (12pc vs 8pc) and often have the threats carried out more than women (63pc vs 50pc). 

The 2013 Love, Relationships, and Technology survey also reveals that after a breakup, about 25pc of adults regret having sent intimate content to their now-exes, and 32pc even asked their ex to delete all personal material.

The survey findings also unveil certain scenarios which may push a partner to reveal all: 45pc would expose their partner’s intimate data if they were lied to; 41pc would reveal all if their partner cheated on them; 27pc would publicise private material if their partner broke up with them; 14pc would expose personal data if their beloved called off the wedding; and 13pc would not like it if their partner posted a picture with someone else.

“Breakups are rarely, if ever, feel-good events left on good terms. But we don’t have to make them worse by potentially having our private data open to being exposed for all to see,” wrote Robert Siciliano, online security and safety evangelist to McAfee, on McAfee’s blog.

McAfee offers these tips to keeping your personal information safe:

  • Do not share passwords with anyone.
  • Use password protection on your phone and other mobile devices.
  • Take the time to delete personal or intimate text messages, emails and photos on your phone.
  • Remember, once you share private information with those you love, that data is out of your hands, and out of your control.

Couple image via Shutterstock

Tina Costanza was a journalist and sub-editor at Silicon Republic