Nearly half of French people know their ex-partner’s social media password

Avast, a global specialist in online security and privacy solutions, today unveiled a study focusing on the digital aspect of a break-up. The study reveals that couples are generally used to sharing the passwords of their devices and various online accounts, as well as access to the places that each frequents. (Study carried out from August 26 to September 5, 2022 with 1001 respondents in France.)

But when there is a separation, the study reveals the appearance of technological abuse:

48% of the panel said they know someone else’s online password(s). For 64% of them, it is those of their current partner and for 14%, of their ex-partner.

  • Among the passwords known by an ex-partner, we find those:
    • Social networks (48%)
    • From streaming services (43%)
    • From a private email account (31%)
    • Online banking (21%)
    • Internet payment accounts (18%)
  • Nearly one in ten French people say that at least one of their passwords has been used maliciously. Thus, 47% of respondents explain having changed their passwords after a breakup, while 49% do not.
  • 34% of French people suspect their ex-partner of having used their passwords for bad purposes, led by the 35-44 age group who are the most suspicious in this regard (47%).
  • Here are the most reported situations after the misuse of a password:
    • The person changed my account or device settings (29%)
    • The person changed my password and blocked my access (22%)
    • The person has bothered me and my friends (sending spam, etc. 22%)
    • The person geolocated me (21%)
    • The person used my money/paid from my bank accounts (17%)
    • The person misused my identity and pretended to be me (16%)
    • The person took my money (15%)
    • The person has created a debt (operator, e-shops etc.) (8%)

These statistics are clearly frightening! worries Jaya Baloo, Head of Information Systems Security at Avast. “Before, when a couple separated, the one who left returned their keys and collected their personal belongings and it stopped there. Today, the situation has changed: for couples sharing devices and passwords with their partner, the consequences can be terrible“.

Bastien Dubuc, Country Manager France at Avast, explains: “ On a daily basis, it seems easier for a couple to share their passwords to watch movies or manage the administration: it greatly simplifies things. However, passwords are above all personal. We see it through this study, many French people see their digital lives strongly threatened. It is much more interesting to create an e-mail account dedicated to the couple, for example, and have the reflex to change your personal password regularly, if only in terms of security. »

1664957494 831 Nearly half of French people know their ex partners social mediaHere are some tips to avoid malicious use of your passwords:

  • Change all your passwords (streaming, e-mails, social networks, bank accounts, gaming) and activate double authentication: this is the first and most important action to put in place.
  • Turn off location functionality if you don’t need it, and don’t allow your apps to access your location outside of their use.
  • Reset the list of devices authorized to connect to your accounts: only you will then be able to validate a connection from this or that device.
  • Block your ex-partner: almost all social networks, chat/messaging applications and mailboxes allow you to block certain contacts.
  • Check the security and privacy settings of your applications and readjust if necessary.
  • Reset all your accounts on your favorite e-commerce sites linked to your bank card and/or an e-wallet (Paypal, etc.).
  • Be very careful on dating sites: do not indicate your social networks or your location, avoid photos involving other people, etc. Good to know: some sites offer the possibility of blacklisting the intrusive ex-partner by means of his number.

About Avast

Avast, a NortonLifeLock company, is a global leader in online security and privacy products, and is based in Prague, Czech Republic. It protects users under the Avast and AVG brands against computer threats and those growing in the world of connected objects. Its threat detection networks are among the most advanced in the world, using machine learning and artificial intelligence to detect and counter threats in real time. Avast solutions for computers, Macs and smartphones have obtained the best awards and certifications by VB100, AV-Comparatives, AV-Test or even Se Labs. Avast is a member of the Coalition Against Stalkerware, No More Ransom, and the Internet Watch Foundation.

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Nearly half of French people know their ex-partner’s social media password

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