Today we have systems and devices, plus many online activities that we share with those close to us. It could be a couple sharing a system or devices and connected activities; it could even be two or three roommates who do such a kind of sharing. In such a situation, one among two people sharing system or devices could be less careful, less cyber-savvy as regards online behavior. The result could be damaging; there could be data exposure or 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% of those in a relationship share online accounts, which would include social networks, banking accounts etc. While this helps improve relationships, this also leads to certain issues. The Kaspersky study says that 90 percent of people sharing a device tend to behave insecurely, like 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, especially owing to the actions of their less cyber-savvy partner. 28 percent have encountered problems on their devices and online accounts since 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 sort these kinds of issues. Let’s discuss those, one by one…
- The day you decide to share your device or accounts, discuss and then set ground rules as regards device usage. There should be clarity as regards the time each partner would spend on a device and also regarding the usage of any accounts associated with it.
- Once rules are finalized, make sure the partners stick to the rules. There should be no over usage or inappropriate usage, which could directly affect the relationship.
- If you need any help, ask for it. If your partner needs any help, provide it with all promptness.
- If you don’t have sufficient knowledge about internet security and online threats, ask your partner and make sure you do all that’s needed to keep the device and accounts secure.
- Make sure you have a strong and separate password for each online account.
- Exercise caution while 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 also to secure your online activities. Always go for a multifunctional, multi-device security solution from a trusted provider.
Guest article written by: Julia Sowells is a security geek with almost 5+ years of experience, writes on various topics pertaining to network security.