Protect your digital data from a vengeful ex – Oh No!

I’m in shock!

This Valentine’s Day, 36% of Americans say they plan to share a salacious photo with their partner over text message, e-mail or social network, according to a new romance-themed survey from security company McAfee. According to the study, one in 10 exes has threatened to post a revealing photo of a former partner online, and 60% of those people have followed through with it.

via How to protect your digital data from a vengeful ex – CNN.com

It seems that a vengeful 12 percent of lovers will leak all sorts of personal information.

via McAfee survey:12 percent have personal data leaked by angry ex – CNET

So now in addition to protecting my information from strangers — we’ve got to protect our information from people we know and who are close to us. On one hand, maybe its not so surprising, but what kind of person are you *really* if you said that you weren’t surprised?

I couldn’t help thinking a bit more about this — if my guy and I were ever to part ways, he’d have all kinds of things that he could “expose” about me… and I’m not worried about it.  And here are some of my thoughts and suggestions for you to consider as well:

  1. If you are with someone (or friends with someone) who you THINK might plot revenge on you or leak your personal information — you’ve got a bigger problem — why are you dating/hanging around those peeps? A mutual level of trust and respect IS the foundation that solid relationships are built on. My sig-o (and I’d include my close friends) and I have a mutual trust and respect for each otherthat could get us through anything. Thinking of ways of hurting or getting back at each other isn’t really our MO — even if things were to go “bad”. I have a genuine level of trust with him and in general we have NO SECRETS … that wasn’t built overnight — its taken years and its MUTUAL.  We tell each other just about everything and so in sharing we both have exposed ourselves which helps to build that trust and understanding between us. The same is true of friends that are close to me.  I don’t fear that he’s collecting information about me to use in the case of a revenge plot – one its not me — but if that’s too idealist or lofty for you — let me take the more realistic pragmatic spin – I have lots of “information” on him too.
  2. No secrets with the exception of few key pieces of information that I keep to myself and don’t share with anyone. For me, that’s mainly logins and passwords to websites that manage for some of myself and systems. But in general, I’d recommend that if there are things that you don’t feel comfortable sharing, I’d say don’t share them. Once its out there, its out there. It’s not about hiding anything, its about controlling and limiting access to protect important information, details, photos– for both of you.  My guy and I have an understanding that if we’re ever curious or want to see something- we share it with the other (ie phones, Fbs, texts, balances) and go over it together.  And if we don’t want to share, we have a discussion about WHY. No anterior motives, just conversations to keep the other in the loop.
  3. I’m a mess of embarrassing and silly things — but in general I don’t take myself too seriously, plus I’m a bit socially awkward – so there is not much that I probably  wouldn’t just share with you or some other random person. As a good rule of thumb, I really try not to partake in things that I’d might regret later.  Does it happen, sure — but when it does, I try to own it — its life right. Instead of the analogy of an open book, think of it more as an unlocked book that is up on a bookshelf. Its not always out there, but if you take the book off the shelf and open it,  its there for ya. Some people might be surprised by that, because I’m a relatively private person (and here I am blogging online to people who I may not know) but private for me is a bit different than being secretive and hiding things. I’m a person of lots of “not well known facts.”  The better I know you, the more likely I’m going to take the book off the shelf and open it for you (or let you borrow it) 🙂

So what if you’re the victim of a revenge or data leak attack by someone you trust? Here are some of my suggestions  — its my blog and of course I’m going to share my thoughts.

  1. Address it head on, but don’t fuel the fire — dare I even say, ignore it (if its appropriate to do so)
  2. Take steps to protect and reclaim your information if personal or financial information has been compromised — respond appropriately to the situation but;
  3. Don’t retaliate, two wrongs don’t make a right — don’t mean you have to happy with it or that you condone it, but don’t spend your nights plotting revenge
  4. Move on — cut ’em out of your life
  5. Did you do something to prompt the revenge – APOLOGIZE, sincerely or at least try to make some level of understanding and/or resolution — and then see step 4. Good relationships that are worth saving and working on don’t include hurtful revenge plots, even if things go sour — we’re people, so relationships will have hills and valleys, but valleys shouldn’t be intentionally malicious.

Been the victim of revenge from an ex (or friend) leaking salacious photo/text/IM or other information? If you raised your hand because its happened to you –know that , I’m raising my hand too — and I’d love to hear your suggestions — and your stories if you want to share.

Making the human connection,

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