E-snooping on significant other increasingly common

Have you ever peeked at your girlfriend’s BlackBerry? Scrolled through call logs, text messages, e-mails? Perhaps your significant other has been spending too much time on the iPhone Facebook app reconnecting with old flames.

Mobile gadgets have made spying all-too-easy, according to a recent survey by Retrevo, a consumer electronics shopping site. “Everyone’s personal information is, more times than not, left sitting on the kitchen counter, readily available to ‘curious’ onlookers like spouses, partners, boyfriends, girlfriends, significant others, or who knows, even nosy mothers-in-laws,” writes Andrew Eisner, Retrevo’s director of community and content.

Retrevo surveyed 1,000 people about their sneaky ways. A whopping 38 percent of respondents under 25 years old said they found the chance to “eavesdrop” on their boyfriend’s or girlfriend’s e-mail simply too tempting. Even worse, of those that snooped, one in 10 found unfaithful behavior.

Across all age groups, 28 percent have snooped on their significant others. Men are just as likely to snoop as women. Married couples snoop almost as much as dating couples, although only 3 percent of married snoopers uncover infidelities.

Source: Retrevo

But mobile snooping among married couples can be more damaging. Add social networks like Facebook that connect people with high school sweethearts, and you’ve got a recipe for disaster. A United Kingdom law firm thumbed through divorce petitions and found that one in five cited Facebook as a factor in their relationship fallout.

Where’s the trust? Sure, the iPhone requires a password to unlock it but try not giving the password to your significant other who wants to play games on your iPhone. An iPhone app called TigerText can help hide your Tiger Woods-like text messaging tracks, but it’s not foolproof. (Check out CIO.com’s story, When Text Messages Bite Back – in Court)

“Unfaithful lovers of the world take note, if you’re cheating on your husband, wife or significant other, there’s about a 30 percent chance you’re going to get found out if you happen to leave incriminating phone history and messages on your phone,” Eisner writes.

Tom Kaneshige is a senior writer for CIO.com in Silicon Valley.

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