McAfee tips for online protection on Valentine’s Day

While 98 percent of respondents use their mobile device to take photos, 54 percent send or receive intimate content including video, photos, emails and messages, said McAfee Love, Relationships & Technology survey for 2014.

Of those 1,500 consumers surveyed, 69 percent are securing their smartphone with a password or passcode, a 30 percentage point increase from last year’s result.

However, 46 percent of U.S. adults still share their passwords with another individual (down from 54 percent), while 42 percent use the same password across multiple devices, increasing the likelihood that these mobile devices will become hacked.

Seventy percent of 18 – 24 year olds receive sexually suggestive content from someone, the largest percentage of all age groups. More men are likely to use their mobile device to send and receive similar content (61 percent men vs. 48 percent women).


Forty-five percent of U.S. adults stored intimate content that they have received in comparison to 40 percent who store risqué photos, videos or messages they have sent. Of those who have sent intimate or racy content, 77 percent have sent this content to their significant other, while 1 in 10 individuals have sent similar content to a total stranger.

More men than women protect their mobile devices (74 percent men vs. 65 percent women). Given the desire to protect their mobile devices and its content more than two-thirds of men are interested in purchasing biometric security embedded capabilities (e.g. face recognition, voice recognition, fingerprint recognition, etc.)

While 96 percent of U.S. adults surveyed trust their significant other with intimate content or otherwise private information they have sent, only 32 percent have asked their partner to delete the information when ending the relationship.

In addition to sharing passwords, 50 percent share mobile phone content and 48 percent share email accounts. Yet, a quarter of respondents have taken their partner’s mobile device to see other content stored on it, including messages and photos.

One in five people are likely to log into their significant other’s Facebook account at least once a month, and only 30 percent of those surveyed admitted to stalking their significant other’s ex on social media, with 18 to 24 year olds being the top age group.

With 91 percent of respondents on a social media platform (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), of those who answered they would be celebrating Valentine’s Day on social media, 76 percent of respondents plan to post messages to others while 58 percent will post photos. Of those that responded, more women than men plan to celebrate their love on social media on Valentine’s Day (80 percent women vs. 72 percent men).

McAfee tips

McAfee advises consumers not to share passwords or codes for mobile devices with others to help keep their content secure. Mobile users should avoid using weak passwords that can be easily determined such as birthdays, numbers in a row or repeat numbers for their devices. Rather, six-digit passcodes and words translated into numbers using your mobile keypad are stronger and should be utilized.

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