Why Sharing Private Data with a Partner Is Not Safe

February 28, 2013

Unlocking Word Meanings
Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

1. share 
[shair] (v.) – to tell one’s thoughts, opinions or information to others
Example: My brother will soon share with everyone the news about his engagement.

2. snoop [snoop] (v.) – to look at something to find personal or private information
Example: Donna trusts her husband and does not snoop on his e-mail messages.

3. ex [eks] (n.) – an informal term for a past girlfriend or boyfriend
Example I removed my ex from my list of Facebook friends.

4. threaten [THRET-n] (v.) – to express possible danger or harm to someone
Example The angry boyfriend threatened to reveal his girlfriend’s secrets.

5. in the first place [in-thuh-furst-pleys] (idiom) – used to mean something should or should not be done from the start
Example The girl should not have posted her phone number on her blog in the first place.

Read the text below.

Mobile devices and digital services have made sharing information very easy. People often share their online passwords, bank account details and social security numbers with people they love. However, sharing such private information, even with boyfriends or girlfriends, can be a bad idea.

McAfee, a security software company, recently did a survey about what private information people reveal to others. Of those who answered, more than half have shared their passwords with their partners.

Around 56% of respondents have also snooped on their partner’s social media pages and online banking data. Another 48.8% said they have snooped on their partner’s e-mails.

Many people share passwords and pictures with their partners, thinking the information will stay private. According to McAfee security expert Robert Siciliano, couples also think sharing passwords with each other is a way of showing affection and love.

However, when relationships end badly, an angry ex may threaten to post private pictures or videos of an ex-partner for everyone to see. Several people in the study admitted to posting their ex’s private data online.

Siciliano recommended using security software to protect information on mobile devices. He also said people should change passwords right away when a relationship ends.

In addition, psychologist Erika Holiday advised people to wait until they fully trust someone before sharing private online information, although getting to trust someone could take years.

The experts also said that the best way to prevent an ex from revealing one’s information is by not sharing passwords or account details in the first place.

Viewpoint Discussion
Enjoy a discussion with your tutor. 

Discussion A

·         Have you shared your passwords with anyone before? Why or why not?
·         In your opinion, when is it safe to tell someone your password? Please explain your answer.

Discussion B

·         Why do you think some people are not careful about their private information?
·         How can we keep our information safe when using the Internet or mobile phones?


February 28, 2013