More than a third of UAE residents spy on their partners online to see what they’re up to despite nearly 80 percent believing that couples should have private space, both online and offline, according to new research from Kaspersky Lab and Toluna.
According to the research, 80 percent of respondents value their relationships more than their privacy, while 62 percent of partners openly share their device passwords with each another, while 32 percent have their fingerprints on their partners’ devices.
However, allowing a partner to access one’s digital life leaves secrets exposed – for better or for worse. A total of 36 percent of UAE internet users queried as part of the survey admitted to spying on their partners online, a figure which rises to 45 percent among couples who believe their relationship is unstable.
Unhappy partners (35 percent) were also found to be considerably more concerned that their privacy than those who describe themselves as being in a happy relationship (19 percent).
Additionally, a majority of those in unhappy relationships (80 percent) said they were inclined to hide their online activities – such as messages they send, personal files and browsing history – compared to 60 percent of those in happy relationships.
In many cases, privacy concerns lead to relationship strife, with 39 percent of respondents saying they have quarrelled with their partner after they saw something that was meant to be kept private.
“When relationships form, online privacy borders are called into question, along with just how much people are prepared for their partner to know and access about their online life,” said Andrei Mochola, head of consumer business at Kaspersky Lab. “With so many partners using each other’s devices or snooping on their loved ones, privacy boundaries can go out the window.
“It is important to get the balance right between a transparent, honest relationship and keeping your digital life secure,” he added. “An open dialogue with your partner and setting privacy boundaries is a good starting point.”
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