/ Technology

Cyber-snooping – your partner’s dirty little secret

Technology has turned us into a nation of snoops, according to Norton’s Cybercrime report. We’re apparently logging into our partner’s emails and Facebook accounts to nose around. Do you spy on your partner online?

My husband’s a recent convert to social networking having just joined Facebook. As a Facebook “friend” of his, I can see his posts, but I’ve never felt the need to log into his account behind his back.

However, one in five women admit to logging into their partner’s email or social network account, with 15% of them having had an argument with their partners about what they subsequently found out. By comparison, only one in 10 men has snooped in the same way.

What does this say about women, I wonder? Are women, by nature, less trusting than men? Or is it just part of a growing trend towards cyber-snooping and women are ahead of the curve?

Sharing passwords decreases with age

It seems trust decreases with age, if Norton’s report is to be believed. It reveals that while over half of under 25-year-olds share their social networking or email password with a partner, those aged 45–54 are the least likely to share this info (only a third).

Personally, I don’t share log-ins with anyone, including my husband. For me, email and my social networking account are personal. I don’t have anything to hide from him but, as I would in real-life, I like to have personal gossip with close girlfriends.

Lying is also prevalent online with an equal amount of men and women – 13% – admitting to having lied about their age online (and no, I’m not revealing mine). Men are more likely to tell porkies about their financial status, while women more likely to lie about their weight (again, I’m not telling).

Report raises serious questions

While the report could be seen as relatively light-hearted, it does raise some serious issues. Notably, cybercrime. Apparently 19 people fall victim to some sort of online crime every single minute.

Social network hacks account for 6% of these crimes. While this is less than the incidence of viruses, everyone should think carefully about the sort of information they’re posting online.

Sure the raison d’être of Facebook is to share info, but some of that information, notably your date of birth, can be used by cybercriminals to steal your identity. Keep it private.

I’m not advocating cyber lying, but if you don’t want others to know personal details about you, including your partner, perhaps it’s best to keep those details offline and guard yourself against cyber snooping by not handing over your password.


This harks back to the pseudonym conversation not long ago.

If you don’t use your real name, you can do/say what you want.

Not that my partner or I use social networks anyway. I have a blog, she can read it if she wants, I really don’t care, there’s nowt to incriminate me, well, maybe a few libellous comments!

What surprises me is how many of my female friends pretty much manage their partners’ online activity. I’ve got friends who respond to all of their other halves’ emails and know more about the details of their lives than is healthy. Obviously the men have agreed to this, but I still think it borders on snooping. Apart from anything else I couldn’t be bothered to check my boyfriend’s emails etc in this way – he can do it himself!

If you trust your partner then why would you snoop? If you do snoop and don’t trust your partner, should you be together?

ptrc says:
17 August 2012

Has any one been computer hacked, and the hacker able to track and see the activity and who you are communicating with? If so how did you deal with this, and could this be proved?