New Couples Forget Online Privacy Lessons
Come Valentine's Day, Facebook is expecting a 200 percent increase in the number of new relationships posted to the site compared to any other day of the year. And with the flood of new love, ordinarily rational people may forget the basics of Internet privacy.
"We all know love can make us a little crazy, so it’s not surprising that people change their behavior and might go outside their typical comfort zones,” Sarah Downey, privacy analyst for Abine, an Internet security company, said in a statement. Abine conducted a survey that exposed the risky computer-related things that people do when they're part of a new relationship.
In a survey of 1,000 U.S. adults, 40 percent said they have looked at their partner's emails and other private messages, and 30 percent have scanned their partner's browsing history. More than 33 percent give their account usernames and passwords to the person they're dating. And 12 percent have blithely posted intimate details of their relationship online, Abine said.
Facebook is by far the most popular social site for sharing information about coupledom. In fact, half the people surveyed said they post about their love lives on Facebook, and 60 percent post photos of themselves with their partners.
But when the relationship heads south, many people head right back to Facebook, where they do more than just change their relationship status. The majority of respondents (63 percent) said they unfriend or block their ex, and half said they take the time to remove their tags from photos the ex has posted. And some spurned lovers go even further, using the digital data they've collected in not-so-nice ways. Those private photos may suddenly get posted to everyone you know. See Technology Fuels Revenge of the Ex .