Curiosity is a trait that all humans share. And while it may not end up killing us, as it is said to have done with the cat, it can certainly cause some major problems within human relationships.
In this, the age of information, the way that we treat the details of our personal lives has changed drastically. We put our information out there for all to see, thinking that we can control who sees what at any given time.
Yet the mobile nature of the devices that we use to access and store our information, combined with our recently developed, conditioned response to every display that we see, (which is of course, to look at it!), added to our natural curiosity, means that there are bound to be times when information is shared both unwillingly and unknowingly, the transfer carrying the potential to cause all kinds of relationship mayhem, as well as other problems.
When you're sitting there with your BFF, or a boyfriend, girlfriend or co-worker, for example, and they are busily tapping keys on their smartphone, is it really your fault if you just happen to see something - not that you were peeking, mind you - that perhaps that person would not have wanted you to see? After all, it was purely accidental....right? Just plain curiosity combined with a Pavlovian type response.
Well, I recently received some very interesting statistics from a contact which were compiled by Lookout.com, a leader in mobile security apps.
They tell a very compelling if slightly different story than the "accidental peeper" one outlined above. Take a look...
· 1 in 3 people have purposefully looked into someone else’s phone without their permission.
· 40% of people who copped to peeping said that it involved their spouse/significant other’s phone.
· 1 in 10 people have looked at a co-worker’s phone.
· Men are more interested in pictures, (aren't we always?), while women tend to snoop into texts, emails and call history.
Apparently there's a "whole lotta peepin goin on", none of which is accidental. I do think that curiosity is the driving force behind most of it, ( I like to at least try and believe that most people are decent folks), but whether it is driven by simple human nature or suspicion is something only the "perp/peep" would know for sure.
Still, when you add the fact that smart device theft continues to rise, (The FCC reported that robberies involving cell phones account for 30 to 40% of all robberies in the US), it's easy to see that mobile information security has become a major concern, one of which many people still seem to be unaware.
Nearly one in ten of the respondents of the survey cited above say they've had a phone stolen. 43% of them said that they are most concerned about a phone thief accessing their bank/financial information; 28% said it was their contacts/addresses; 13% email/text messages; 11% photos/videos; and 5% were most concerned about apps/social networks.
As for us here in the Queen City, according to the website neighborhoodscout.com, 1 of every 4 Charlotteans will be a victim of property crime this year, with most of those crimes involving a smartphone or device.
So, curiosity killed that cat, and it can also kill a relationship dead. Just a glimpse of a "my eyes only" text or e-mail, or a quick sidelong glance at a random photo and all of a sudden your private space has been violated. And what is worse, you might then hear the echo of those most famous words (for those who remember), in the look on the face of the very person who invaded your information turf.... "Lucy, you got some 'splaining to do!"
Clearly it's time to look out for your smartphone, to keep the device itself, as well as all of the information on it, secure.
Lookout.com has some apps that are designed to lock down your phone.
Lock Cam, which is a free app silently takes a picture of anyone who enters an incorrect password three times into your lock screen. You’ll receive an email with the picture, and the location of your device. Gotcha!
Lock Screen allows you to write a custom message which will be displayed to the person who finds it and can direct them on how to return it to you. Lock Screen is available for Lookout for Android Premium ($2.99 month / $29.99 year).
To download these apps, use the Lookout.com link above. And for more information and tips about how to secure your smartphone, check out the Lookout Mobile Security blog.
Facebook is fun, Instagram is in, Twitter is tweet, and most of us indulge fully in these info sharing services but we all still retain the absolute right and the more important than ever need to reserve any amount of personal privacy that we choose.
In order to do that however, in this age of information, we must use the tools and work just as hard at securing our data, as we do in sharing it.
Look out for your smartphone today!