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Lovers Beware Of Intimate Valentine’s Day Texts [AUDIO]

At least one-third of Americans plan to send sexy or romantic photos to their partners via email, text and social media on Valentine’s Day. At the same time, 95 percent of Americans believe that their data and revealing photos are safe with their partners.

Texting
Flickr user: Nika

That’s according to McAfee’s 2013 Love, Relationships and Technology survey. The study examines the pitfalls of sharing personal data in relationships and discloses how breakups can lead to privacy concerns online.

“Relationships do go south often. Doing things like sharing passwords and intimate photos as a sign of love and devotion isn’t always such a good idea,” said Robert Siciliano, McAfee online security expert. “People need to keep in mind that digital is repeatable. Once it’s digital, it can be replicated in a number of different ways.”

Sensitive Personal Information on Phones

Nearly two-thirds of smartphone owners have personal and intimate information on their mobile devices including bank account information, passwords, credit card numbers and revealing photos and only 40 percent have their phones protected with passwords.

Other findings from the study include:

  • Revenge of the Ex: About 1 in 10 Americans have been threatened by an ex-partner to reveal their risque photos for reasons including lying (45.3%), cheating (40.6%), or breaking up with him/her (26.6%). Once threatened, these actions to post such images were carried out 60% of the time.
  • Password Sharing: About 50% of Americans share their passwords with their partners, which can potentially result in serious consequences if a breakup is on the horizon and your ex-partner is looking for revenge.
  • Cyber Stalking: Over 56% of people surveyed admitted to checking their significant others’ social media pages and bank accounts and nearly 50% log in to scan their partners’ emails. People track their ex-partner on Facebook more than they do their current partners.
  • Private Data: 12% of adults have had their personal content leaked to others without permission.

The most popular data shared by partners include:

  • Bank account numbers (62.5%)
  • Health insurance ID’s (60.7%)
  • Social Security numbers (56.9%)
  • Email accounts (59.7%)
  • Passwords (53.6%)

“We used to share varsity sweaters or friendship rings to show our devotion to someone. Now we’re sharing passwords,” said Siciliano. “The moment a break up is imminent, it’s important to change those passwords, delete any of those photos and personal information that you don’t want out there. It’s also important to make sure that your device is password protected. If you don’t lock it down, your anyone can have full access to your device.”

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