Ah, love. It’s a wonderful thing, isn’t it? You get those butterflies in your stomach, there’s excitement every time you see that special someone, and you get to share your most important things with a new person. Including your Netflix login details if a recent survey is anything to go by.
Commissioned by ExpressVPN, their survey delved into password sharing habits amongst non-married couples. It considered everything from video and music streaming services to social media and other accounts. As you’d expect, some very interesting results emerged along the way.
Sharing is caring, unless you are talking about passwords
Unsurprisingly, video streaming is one of the most common services where passwords are shared at 78%. Other accounts shared include online news subscriptions, ride-sharing apps, and even mobile wallets.
Above all, the survey was done to highlight the risk you put yourself at when sharing sensitive data. Harold Li, vice president at ExpressVPN, explained, “While it may seem innocuous in the moment and a way to establish trust in a relationship, sharing passwords can put your personal identity and private information at risk if you don’t take the proper precautions.”
In a slightly terrifying turn of events, the survey also delved into non-consenting password sharing between couples. As in, do you still use your ex-partner’s login and password without them knowing?
Case of the ex
This is obviously where things get interesting. It turns out that just over 1 in 4 respondents still use their ex’s game streaming services (Game Pass, PS Now, Stadia, etc,) while 25% use a former lover’s food or grocery delivery services. 23% also still use video or music streaming services – which could explain why your Netflix suggestions go crazy from time to time.
So far, so (relatively) normal. But a quick look at the results also tells you 20% of people who took part in the survey used their ex’s email, and 23% of people have logged into their old partner’s social media accounts. For the most invasive cherry on the cake, 25% have tracked the location of somebody they’re no longer in a relationship with.
All those times where you feel like you’re being followed? Maybe you’re not so paranoid, after all.
It also turns out that more men are guilty of these breaches in trust. In several areas, they’re more likely to have used an ex’s login details without their knowledge.
As you’d expect, this also leads to regret in sharing passwords with a significant other, although it’s men who show more regret than women (40% vs. 32%).
On a serious note, Li had some more good advice to pass on. “Unfortunately, password sharing can lead to risks beyond cybersecurity and potentially be used as a tool of coercive control or abuse in relationships. That’s why it’s important to only share accounts involving personal data such as location with those you trust, as well as promptly revoke access if the relationship ends or you have other reasons for concern.”
If you haven’t done so already, it might be time to check some logins and change a couple of passwords.