Connected Relationships: A Love Affair with Technology

Love is in the air, and in our technology as well. At least, that is what the survey says—specifically, a survey of over 13,000 adults in relationships that use digital devices daily. We recently conducted this survey around today’s “connected relationships,” to better understand how online behavior affects real world relationships.

The results proved that as much as we love each other, we’re starting to fall even more in love with technology. And as we use our connected devices more and more each day, our relationships are impacted, both positively and negatively, by that use.

On average, adults spend an equal amount of time at home online (38%) as they do interacting with others face-to-face. In fact, 40% of our survey respondents felt their significant other paid more attention to their own device when they were together one-on-one. You could even say that, for many, our devices have become the “other (wo)man” in the relationship.

And the same goes for blossoming relationships as well, with approximately a third (33%) of those surveyed saying they’ve had to compete with their date’s device for attention on a first date.

When it comes to setting parameters around device usage, the consensus is decidedly split, with 45% of respondents claiming they don’t set rules about device usage when together, and another 45% reporting getting into an argument with a friend, significant other, or family member over being on a device in another’s presence.

Though devices have managed to cause some minor riffs between couples, that doesn’t stop couples from sharing even when they shouldn’t. Out of those surveyed, nearly 30% of couples share passwords to social media accounts, 28% share passwords to personal email accounts, and most shockingly, more than 20% share their work-specific devices and accounts with their significant other.

So, whether you’re handing a password out to a loved one, or just using your device to stay connected to them, remember: it’s always important to make sure your devices are secure. Here are a few tips for staying safe while staying in love:

  • Protect what matters. Your home is where everything happens. It’s where you relax with your significant other and enjoy time with loved ones—with and without your beloved devices at your side. That said, it’s important that it stays secure. New solutions, such as McAfee Secure Home Platform help you easily manage and protect devices connected to your home network, while providing controls that can be tailored to the entire household. Keep an eye out this year for gateways that have McAfee Secure Home Platform built in.
  • Show your passwords some love.  Ensure your passwords are secure and strong. Include numbers, lowercase and uppercase letters, as well as symbols. If you’re someone who knows the struggle with generating and remembering multiple unique passwords, use a password management solution like True Key by Intel Security, to help you store and create complex passwords.
  • Be careful with how personal you get. Take the time to remove unnecessary personal information from your devices that could compromise your security. The less personal data you have on a device, the safer your information will be.
  • Focus on what really matters. We love our devices, but it’s important to disconnect every now and then to spend time with the important people in our lives, like friends and family. Don’t worry: your social networks and mobile games will be right there waiting for you when you get back.

And, of course, stay on top of the latest consumer and mobile security threats by following me and @IntelSec_Home on Twitter, and ‘Like’ us on Facebook.

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