With Valentine’s Day coming up, whether we like or not we end up thinking about love, that weird chemical and physical drug that no one can quite explain but will still make people go insane and act out of their normal – and often advisable – behavior. In fact, considering the technological and increasingly connected world we live in, when loving relationships reach a certain point people usually end up revealing their social media or email passwords to each other, often just to prove that they have nothing to hide from one another. This is one of the conclusions of research firm Toluna and Kaspersky Lab’s report from January 2018 and yet is still very relevant today for reflecting the online behavior of people in relationships, which also notes that happy couples don’t cyber spy on each other so frequently.
But, as we all know, surfing the web openly is becoming more dangerous, and if doing it with your own credentials is bad enough, it only gets worse if a cyber criminal can compromise your lovebird’s account and information.
Knowing Too Much, Caring Too Little?
Another conclusion taken from Kaspersky’s report is that “61% admit that they do not want their partner to know about some of their online activities”, which includes the content of messages they send to and receive from other people. While this may seem like the complete opposite of not keeping secrets from one another, 80% also believe that it’s important for each person to have their own online and offline privacy.
The study gives a practical example of a couple who met through an online dating app that don’t have access to one another’s passwords. While this means their communications with other people are entirely private, it can also lead to suspicion and unnecessary arguments, in line with the 33% that admitted they argue because of content that one person didn’t want to share but was somehow seen by the other.
In turn, sharing social media and email passwords can surely end all these (often) foolish suspicions as in the end everything that a person has or does online is at the disposal of their partner. But at the same time this can have dangerous implications that are not commonly discussed, with seven out of ten people ultimately putting their relationship ahead of their privacy. While you may trust the other person enough to give them your passwords to access any of the networks that they use and this will make it harder to keep any surprises a secret, one tiny slip-up can be enough to compromise both accounts.
Public Wi-Fi networks are not to be trusted as anyone with the right skills can see in seconds exactly what every user of that network is doing. This is already bad when accessing social media or email services using your own account, but risking your soulmate’s if naturally worse. And if you happen to use both, then all the better for hackers and cyber criminals on the network.
Protecting is Caring
A healthy relationship needs more than just love. It needs friendship, respect, confidence, and above all else, dialog. Therefore, do not hesitate to talk your mate into using VPNs and other privacy-oriented tools. These allow for a romantic movie session without frustrating geo restrictions or ISP throttling to bother you, but more importantly they greatly help in keeping your information private, too, by securely handling connections through encrypted tunnels. This prevents ISPs, network owners, and other third parties from snooping on your details, including passwords, exchanged messages, banking information and more.
Most VPN providers even allow the same account to use multiple devices, so you could always share the cost of a single license with your partner and use it on both of your smartphones, tablets, and computers. And since we all know how important our passwords are for our everyday lives, it’s always a good idea to opt for strong, unbreakable credentials and to use a password manager to store them in a digital vault.
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