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November 10, 2015

The Spy Who Loved Me: Research discovers that many Brits secretly check their partner's phones

Do you trust your partner's digital doings? According to our new research, there's a fair chance that you don't!

The results of the survey, which was undertaken in order to further understand the dynamics behind couples' mobile phone use, discovered that 41% of those polled had checked their partner's phone, with just over a quarter (26%) having said they'd done so secretly!

But why did people choose to snoop on their partners? Well, the most popular reasons for doing so were either due to the respondents not being trusting enough of their significant others (56%), pure nosiness (36%), and lastly due to simply being bored (21%).

The results paint a picture of the darker side of our 21st century digital lives, as smartphones become increasingly more prevalent in our day-to-day existence. Many feel that, as more of our social interactions are undertaken through our phones, traditional relationship issues such as trust have found their way into the cyber sphere.

The results showed that older respondents were less likely to check their partners phones – 77% of 55 to 64-year-olds and 81% of those aged 65 and over said they had never checked their spouse's phones, compared to 47% in the 18 to 24 bracket. The results make sense – the former two demographics are, by-and-large, less likely to use dating apps, messaging platforms and other tools that could potentially foster feelings of distrust.

The poll discovered that text messages, WhatsApp, and emails were the most-snooped means of communication, these being accessed thanks to those polled having knowledge of their lovers' phone (36%) and email (42%) passwords. Only 35% of respondents did not know any of their partner's passwords, showing that when it comes down to it, relationships bridge even our most-secretive character combinations.

One in ten of those who had looked through their partner's phone discovered evidence of cheating or unfaithfulness, while many noted that they had found erotic images and videos on their partner's mobiles. As well as naughty pictures, the Tinder app was found in at least one instance – on the phone of someone already in a relationship!

Of course, the simple act of sneakily checking the content of a significant other's phone didn't have to mean negative findings, as 76% of snoopers didn’t find anything untoward on their partner's phone. We're not sure whether or not images of pigeons eating pies, sex toys stuck to windows, and "numerous pictures of random people my wife saw in the street (who wore clothes she liked, so she could find them online later)", were considered untoward by respondents, or if they were simply seen as strange!