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Kaspersky warns of relationship perils in the digital age.

Although the digital world allows couples greater opportunities to connect, leading network security provider Kaspersky warned of the perils if their relationship ends on a sour note. If things start to collapse, it pointed out that sharing intimate memories on devices or online accounts goes from being a perfectly natural part of a loving relationship, to a potential privacy nightmare.

'The digital world offers a great way for couples to connect, but also presents significant privacy risks if partners decide to go their separate ways,' said Andrei Mochola, head of consumer business at Kaspersky Lab said in a news statement.

'With a sizeable proportion of individuals seemingly willing to abuse the intimate data

they have on their ex-partners, individuals should always make sure they are careful when sharing anything intimate and know exactly where it is

being stored. Moreover, there's always the option of a digital prenuptial agreement to determine the 'custody' of data before it becomes a privacy problem,' Mochola added.

According to Kaspersky Lab and Toluna, 21 percent of people have spied on their ex-partner via an online account they had access to but, with revenge also a key motivator for scorned lovers, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the privacy risks that accompany modern-day partners after a breakup.

Nevertheless, Mochola pointed out that a breakup doesn't have to put the privacy of the people involved at risk. He reminded that people should make sure to change passwords to accounts that their ex-partner has access to, using the Kaspersky Password Manager to help generate strong passwords and store them securely.

Furthermore, he said the Kaspersky Total Security features a File Shredder feature which permanently deletes files that you don't want anyone else to see, while intimate messages on your Android device can be hidden using the Privacy Protection feature.

The study noted 70 percent of couples share passwords, PINs or fingerprints to access their personal devices and 26 percent store some type of intimate data on their partner's device: such as intimate messages from/to the partner (14 percent), intimate photos of themselves (12 percent) and intimate videos of them and their partner (11 percent). In addition, people keep sensitive data on the accounts and devices they share with their partner-for example, financial information (11 percent) or work-related data (11 percent).

Of those who have experienced a breakup, the study showed 12 percent have shared or wanted to share their ex-partner's private information publicly as an act of revenge, 12 percent have damaged or wanted to damage their ex's device, and 21 percent have spied on their former partner via accounts they had access to. There's also a potential financial impact, with one in 10 people admitting to having spent their ex-partner's money online.

Interestingly, Kaspersky noticed glaring differences between the sexes, as men are much more likely than women to share their ex-partner's private information publicly as a form of revenge (17 percent versus 7 percent) and use their ex's information for their own benefit (17 percent versus 8 percent). In comparison, women are much more willing than men to take the high road by deleting all their ex-partner's information from their device (55 percent versus 49 percent) and deleting all partner photos or videos following a breakup (56 percent versus 48 percent).

Women, however, are also prone to some sneaky tactics, with 33 percent admitting to spying on their ex-partner via social networks compared to 28 percent of men.
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Publication:Business Mirror (Makati City, Philippines)
Date:Mar 3, 2018
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