Breaking up with a partner might mean you need to change your password.
At least that’s what seems to be the reasonable course of action in response to a survey conducted by ExpressVPN – a virtual private network service.
The survey used a sample of 1,506 U.S. adults and found that one-quarter admitted to logging into an online account belonging to a former flame, so they can track their real-time location. Invasive methods like these were accomplished through apps that record geolocation.
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Similarly, 30% revealed they have secretly logged into an ex-partner’s social media account at least once since the breakup. Another 23% admitted they are still doing so.
“Location sharing may seem like an innocuous way to build mutual trust in modern-day relationships, but even the closest relationships should maintain a level of personal privacy,” ExpressVPN’s Sean O’Brien told Fox News.
Twenty-five percent of American adults have reportedly logged into an ex-partner’s account to learn their real-time location, ExpressVPN’s survey claims. (iStock)
O’Brien, who is the principal researcher at the ExpressVPN Digital Security Lab, shared that he and his team were shocked to see the prevalence of non-consensual logins among ex-couples.
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“The sheer number of people who continue to track their ex post-breakup was one of our survey’s most surprising findings,” he added. “At worst, it’s a slippery slope to allowing controlling behavior that can put you at risk, especially if the breakup wasn’t on good terms.”
In his own words, “location trackers are rampant among apps.” This includes most social media platforms, GPS-related safety services and more.
“If you’re going to share your personal data with your significant other, it’s essential to take inventory of which apps they have access to and revoke access once the relationship ends immediately,” O’Brien advised.
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For those who are logging into accounts without permission post-breakup, there are some platforms that are more popular than others.
Game streaming services and online news subscriptions were the most used with 26% of respondents admitting to having logged in to these accounts.
ExpressVPN’s survey respondents admitted to logging in to a variety of accounts belonging to their ex, including game streaming services, online news subscriptions and more. (iStock)
The second-most used accounts were for photo-sharing programs, food or grocery delivery services and location-sharing apps at 25%. Meanwhile, the third-most used were online calendars, social media accounts, mobile wallets, ride-sharing services, music and video streaming all at 23%.
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Only 22% resorted to logging into an account that connects to a mobile device while 20% signed into personal email addresses.
Based on ExpressVPN’s findings, more than half of American adults have shared passwords with a significant other.
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Passwords are largely shared for entertainment reasons. Video streaming services turned out to be the most prevalent with 78% of the survey’s respondents indicating they’ve shared a password for this reason.