Love in the digital age

Think your ex is over you? Study finds scorned lovers unsuprisingly snoop on social media

Think your ex is over you? Study finds scorned lovers unsuprisingly snoop on social media

bored at computer
She just found out that her boyfriend kept pictures of his ex in a file called "Poems."

Valentine’s Day is but a few days away, and with that comes all the love and flowers and romantic comedies you could ever want. But before all that, we’re here to plant some seeds of doubt and distrust into your head. According to a study done by software security company McAfee, it’s a real possibility that your significant other is snooping all up in your digital space.

In the study, McAfee found that when in possession of their partner’s passwords, more than 56 percent of those surveyed copped to going into their significant other’s bank accounts and social media. Speaking of snooping, McAfee founder John McAfee had a pretty wild 2012. But we digress. 

 One in 10 exes has threatened to release risqué photos online, and 60 percent of those threats were carried out.

The study found that 48 percent of people follow exes on Facebook more than their current boo (44 percent). Guys were more likely than the ladies to creep, creep on their main squeeze, their main squeezed, or their squeeze’s squeezed on Facebook or Twitter.

But, honestly, you just check your exes’ Facebook to see if they got fatter than you after the breakup, right?

On a more depressing note, 94 percent of people believe that data and revealing photos are safe with their partners, because apparently nobody in this survey has ever broken up with anyone.

It’s depressing because 13 percent of those surveyed actually have had their personal content leaked without their consent, and one in 10 exes has threatened to release risqué photos online. What’s more, 60 percent of those threats were carried out. Honestly, we’re surprised it’s so low, but we’re just romantic like that.

So if you’re one of the 36 percent of people who plans on sexting someone on Valentine’s Day, just remember that picture is not ever going away. And after a breakup — which will happen, because you can’t trust anyone these days — that photo will still be on your former lover’s phone.

If you must send a photo, don’t show your face, and keep any identifying markers (like that tattoo from Cancun ’01) out of shot. It’s not fool-proof, but plausible deniability is better than nothing. Well, nothing would be better. Nothing can’t get sent to your ex’s friends’ phones. And then on to a listserve to old college friends. And then some website. (That’s SFW, BTW.)

Happy Valentine’s Day! Be sure to spend a lot on your significant other — if you’re lucky enough to have one — because he or she is going to find out how much that stuff cost one way or another.