The study by McAfee aims to understand the online behavior of people and how it affects their real-world relationships.
2 in 3 Indians have felt that their significant other was more interested in their connected device than in them.
Nearly half of Indians indicated that they have spied on their significant other's social media accounts.
If your partner knows your Facebook password, you may not be alone. It is estimated that an astounding 84 percent of Indians share their personal passwords with their significant other, even as they feel technology is getting in the way of their relationship.
Ahead of the week celebrating love, McAfee has revealed key discoveries from its study titled “Three’s Company: Lovers, Friends and Devices”, to highlight how love is shaping up in today’s technology-obsessed time. The study, based on survey of 600 adults (aged 18-55+) looks into the online behavior of people and how it affects their real-world relationships with friends and significant others.
Technology and relationships
According to the study’s findings, more than half the respondents are troubled with the existence of an internet-connected device in their relationship, even as they themselves are pretty much hooked on it. 77 percent of people in India think the use of technology gets in the way of relationships today.
The next time you find your partner engaged into a mindless scrolling on the social media, don’t blame them, as two in three Indians in a relationship feel their partner is more interested in their connected gadget than in them, which leads us to another interesting finding. The study says 81 percent of people in India indicate that they got into an argument with a friend or significant other for being on their phone too much when they spend time together.
Addiction to smartphones
Interestingly, even as the device obsession levels are reaching high, many users feel concerned if their partner did not take necessary steps to safeguard their personal information. About 89 percent users indicate the trend. Only 76 percent of Indians take required steps to ensure their personal information is protected on their connected devices. While privacy also holds importance in the life of Indians, 84 percent share their personal passwords and PINs with their partners.
Of the shared credentials, details of online shopping websites form the most part, at 60 percent. Shockingly, passwords for social media accounts come close second at 45 percent, followed by streaming services at 42 percent, personal email accounts at 41 percent, banking and financial services at 38 percent, and work specific device or accounts at 38 percent.
Banking and social media most vulnerable
These numbers throw light on a rather alarming trend among people in the relationship who use technology. Keeping the trust factors between individuals aside, credentials for services such as banking and social media are usually the most vulnerable. Yet, these are the very services which are over-shared by partners. On the other hand, the sharing of online streaming services indicate the growth of Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime Video, and the likes in India, albeit crooked where one account is essentially being consumed by two individuals (or more, in instances where the connection is shared by family members). Meanwhile, 16 percent of the people still believe in drawing the line and indicate that they don’t or wouldn’t share any passwords or PINs with their significant other.
When it comes to the users, the struggle is real. Three in four Indians find it difficult to focus on their date when they are using a device. Perhaps, this is where services such as Tinder fail; they help you get a date (58 percent find such apps and services more effective than family members scouting for the right match), but not let you get their attention. Some people indicate that the competition for attention between the date and their device happens more than twice.
Given the amount of time and content we spend/share on social media on a daily basis, 70 percent users think it is crucial to disclose their relationship on social media. Whereas, nearly half of the Indians indicated that they have spied on the social media accounts or connected devices of their significant other. That casual checking of notifications will also count as spying to an extent.
“In today’s connected lifestyle, daily activities and interactions of consumers are powered by technology and apps. This insatiable dependency for technology can come at the price of sharing our personal information with the unknown. We need to be aware about the reality of oversharing and take corrective measures,” said Venkat Krishnapur, Vice President of Engineering and Managing Director, McAfee.
In a bid to save themselves from the overpowering technology, just a small fraction of Indians like to set some tough rules for their partners during the time they are together. One in five Indians claim they set strict limitations about the use of connected gadgets when with their significant other, while 32 percent of respondents don’t believe in forming rules on device use even when together.
To sum up the findings, even as the love is in the air and you can’t help but overshare your digital life with your significant other, McAfee suggests using strong passwords to protect privacy breach. Secondly, the home Wi-Fi network you use for your beloved devices, should also be protected with customizable permissions that can be tailored for use by other members of the family. McAfee’s Secure Home Platform is one such tool to help you achieve complete protection.
It is equally important to periodically remove personal information from your devices, such as bank credentials stored in notes, to avoid theft by cybercriminals. Lastly, even as the addictive nature of technology is hard to come over, it is necessary to switch off from the virtual world once in a while to get back to the real world.