Multiple choice Pop Quiz:
- Have you ever stumbled across your partner’s phone and read the text messages?
a. Yes, why wouldn’t I?
b. No, that’s a complete invasion of privacy!
c. I may have been tempted.
- Have you ever read your partner’s email?
a. Every day.
b. How would I? He keeps his passwords in a password manager so that not even the CIA
could get to them.
c. Wouldn’t want to.
This quiz may seem a bit silly but a recent project called Me, My Spouse and the Internet from the UK’s Oxford Internet Institute released a survey stating 20% of married Internet users admitted to reading their partner’s emails and text messages; 13% to having checked their partner’s browser history.
What Does One Study Prove?
Reading your spouse’s email doesn’t have to be all that worrying but what might raise some eyebrows is how exactly your partner gets into your email account? How do they get your passwords?
The answer may be as simple as just handing it over to them. After all, they are family. But what if your private info ends up in the wrong place?
According to the Better Business Bureau, in 63% of fraud cases point of compromise was either theft by close associates of the consumer (friends, family, neighbors, etc.), lost or stolen wallets, cards and checkbooks, breached home computers or stolen mail or trash.
And almost half (47 percent) of all identity theft is perpetrated by friends, neighbors, in-home employees, family members or relatives and that is when the victim can actually identify the thief.
The Federal Trade Commission states the causes as being many: drugs, divorce, money troubles, and just plain bad blood between relatives.
In one case reported by MSNBC, a Dallas mother was approved for 17 credit cards, charged thousands of dollars on them, and took out a $42,000 loan – all in her 10 year old daughter Shiloh’s name. Shiloh’s mom was sent to jail for 6 months and a 4th grader was left with bad credit – the kind she can’t make up after school.
Committing Identity Fraud Isn’t That Hard
In a case reported in January of 2004, a Clifford J. Dog applied for a credit card. After given all the necessary information – mother’s maiden name, Social Security etc. he received his first, very own credit card. The only problem was – Clifford was really a dog. A pug to be exact.
All this said, we shouldn’t rush off and hire private detectives or greet our family members at the door tonight with a firm ‘Who are you really and what do you want from me?”. But maybe a bit of responsible privacy does go a long way.