According to findings of McAfee 2014 Love, Relationships & Technology survey, 91% of respondents on a social media platform (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) would be celebrating Valentine’s Day on social media. Of these, 76% of respondents plan to post messages to others while 58% will post photos. Of those that responded, more women than men plan to celebrate their love on social media on Valentine’s Day (80% women vs. 72% men).
The study highlights how sharing personal content such as suggestive texts, naked photos, suggestive video and passcodes on these devices can potentially lead to cyber-stalking and the exposure of private content leaking online. For a second year in a row, the company examined how more than 1,500 consumers are sharing and storing intimate data on their mobile devices, especially with current or former significant others.
While 98% of respondents use their mobile device to take photos, 54% send or receive intimate content including video, photos, emails and messages. Of those surveyed, 69% are securing their smartphone with a password or passcode, a 30 percentage point increase from last year’s result. However, 46% of US adults still share their passwords with another individual (down from 54%), while 42% use the same password across multiple devices, increasing the likelihood that these mobile devices will become hacked.
70% of 18 - 24 year olds receive sexually suggestive content from someone, the largest percentage of all age groups. More men are likely to use their mobile device to send and receive similar content (61% men vs. 48% women). Forty-five percent of US adults say they stored intimate content that they have received in comparison to 40% who store risqué photos, videos or messages they have sent. Of those who have sent intimate or racy content, 77% have sent this content to their significant other, while 1 in 10 individuals have sent similar content to a total stranger.
“With all the stories we’ve heard about intimate photos being leaked, it’s hard to believe people are still sharing their passwords,” said Gary Davis, vice president of McAfee consumer business. “Ultimately, they’re increasing the risks of these photos becoming public and possibly jeopardizing their identity and reputation. Consumers must take precautions and use mobile security to ensure that what should be private stays private.”