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Should Couples Consider a ‘Digital Prenup’?

New research has revealed how increased use of online accounts and connected devices has made it harder than ever for couples to define the boundaries of personal privacy. 

According to Kaspersky Lab and Toluna, which conducted the research, the issue becomes even more complex if couples break up

The researchers highlight that 70% of couples share passwords, PINs or fingerprints to access their personal devices, and 26% store some type of intimate data on their partner’s device. In addition, people keep sensitive data in accounts and devices they share with their partner – for example, financial information (11%) or work-related data (11%).

This all well and good when the relationship is healthy, but some clear issues emerge in the event of a break-up. 

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

“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.

“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," he added. "Moreover, there’s always the option of a digital prenuptial agreement to determine the ‘custody’ of data before it becomes a privacy problem.”

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