Discussing how to protect personal property in case a relationship goes south is such a sensitive topic. It’s like discussing a prenuptial agreement. I know some people who wouldn’t get married without it, and I know others who think it’s a red flag and a sign that the relationship won’t last. These days though, there is more than just your physical, personal property that can be taken from you if things don’t work out. There is also your personal digital property.
Your digital property is anything that belongs to you online. The scope of your digital property goes beyond anything you might own with a contract. It also includes things like your private, personal photos, your email passwords, your files and applications, your private social media conversations (Twitter DM, Skype chat, Facebook messages), and really anything else that can be stored or accessed online.
My next question is, have you shared any of this personal digital property of yours with your significant other? Most people do. In some relationships, that is expected. However, if you do that, and if you break up, do you know the risk that you are taking since your digital property could be leaked by your angry ex?
According to research by McAfee, which they compiled into this infographic called Break Up With Your Partner, Not Your Private Data, it happens more than you think. Once you share your personal data (sexy pictures, messages, etc.), you lose control of it. Sure, you can ask the person to delete it, but you have no control over whether or not that really happens.
You can click over to McAfee to read more about this study. One thing I found interesting was the list of reasons that would cause an angry ex to leak your private data. Here is the list –
1. Lying (45.3%)
2. Cheating (40.6%)
3. Breaking up with me (26.6%)
4. Calling off wedding (14.1%)
5. Posting pictures with someone else (12.5%)
6. Other (12.5)
Yikes! The bottom line is – before you share your digital property (especially pics and passwords) with anyone, be aware of the consequences. It’s a little sad that we have to plan ahead in case there is a breakup in our future, but in the technology world we live in, that is a necessary evil it seems.
Before Sharing Your Digital Property – Know The Consequences
(Click Infographic To Slightly Enlarge)