Lovers beware! Breakups can lead to privacy leaks online

DQC News Bureau
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McAfee released findings from the company's 2013 Love, Relationships, and Technology survey which examines the pitfalls of sharing personal data in relationships and discloses how breakups can lead to privacy leaks online. The study highlights the need for consumers to take steps to protect themselves from cyber-stalking and exposure of private information.


Eighty-six percent of smartphone owners have personal and intimate information on their mobile devices, such as bank account information, passwords, credit card numbers and revealing photos, yet only 79% have password protection on their devices. This leaves a gap in personal data protection, which results in exposure.

"We are all aware of the cases involving celebrities, but you don't have to be a celebrity to have your personal information exposed. 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," said Lubna Markar, senior marketing manager, McAfee India & South Asia.

Top findings from the survey:

  • The research shows that 96% of Indians believe their data and revealing photos are safe in the hands of their partners.
  • Despite the risks, 53% Indians still plan to send sexy or romantic photos to their partners via email, text and social media on Valentine's Day. It was found that, 60% Mumbaiites, 51.8% Delhiites and 47% Chennai residents plan to share their sexy or romantic photos to their partners via email, text and social media on Valentine's Day.
  • When armed with their partner's passwords, a majority of Indians snoop and check out their partners' emails, bank accounts and social media pages. More than 73% of people surveyed have admitted to checking their significant others' social media pages and 44% their bank accounts and nearly 72% log in to scan their partners' emails. 
  • It's not just revealing photos that people need to worry about. 23% of adults have had their personal content leaked to others without their permission.
  • Thankfully, majority of Indians password protect their smartphones (86%). Given their affinity with technology, 78% regularly back up or save the content on their smartphones and about 98% Indians delete any personal or intimate text messages emails and photos regularly.