We currently have systems, devices, and many online accounts that we share with those close to us. It could be a couple sharing a laptop. Perhaps a roommate is sharing a Netflix account with two or three roommates. Since it’s a common practice, one among two people sharing systems or devices could be less careful and less cyber-savvy in regards to online behavior. The result could be damaging; there could be data exposure, device damage, or money loss, which could affect the other, more careful partner as well.
A recent study conducted by Kaspersky Lab says that 82 percent of people who are in a relationship share a device with their partner. 77 percent of those in a relationship share online accounts, which would include social media, banking accounts, etc. While this can help improve relationships, it also leads to certain issues. The Kaspersky study says that 90 percent of people sharing a device tend to behave insecurely. Some examples are using the same password for multiple accounts, connecting to an unsafe WiFi network, downloading files from unknown websites, or leaving a device unattended in public. 45 percent of the respondents covered in the survey feel vulnerable to cyber threats. This often is due to the actions of their less cyber-savvy partner. 28 percent have encountered problems on their devices and online accounts because they had been sharing them with their less cyber-savvy partner.
The Kaspersky study points out that among the issues that shared devices cause, the prominent ones are those caused by cyber threats. Devices get infected with malware and people also lose their money. Another interesting finding is that it also leads to arguments and fights between couples.
There are certain things that could help alleviate these kinds of issues. For example…
- The day you decide to share your device or accounts, discuss and set ground rules in regards to the device usage. There should be clarity in the amount of time each partner will spend on a device and an understanding of the appropriate usage of any accounts associated with it.
- Once rules are finalized, make sure the partners stick to their rules. There should be no over usage or inappropriate usage. Breaking these rules could potentially have a negative affect the relationship.
- If you need any help, ask for it and if your partner needs any help, promptly provide assistance.
- If you don’t have sufficient knowledge about internet security and online threats, ask your partner. Make sure you do all that’s needed to keep the device and accounts secure.
- Be sure that you have a strong and separate password for each individual online account.
- Exercise caution when entering account details on any website. Make sure the website is safe while connecting to a Wi-Fi network, while downloading files from websites, and while clicking on any link (never click suspicious links).
- Always use the necessary security software to secure your device and to ensure that all online activities are safe. Always go for a multi-functional, multi-device security solution from a trusted provider.