While many don’t share passwords to emails, computers and social media even with family, when in love, they aren’t as guarded with their partner. In fleeting moments of passion, intimate photographs are exchanged; in the name of trust, passwords are revealed; and in the name of love, no boundary seems too high to jump over. But all is well only until the relationship is. Once there’s trouble in paradise, the same actions may turn into death knells.
Take the example of Mel B and Stephen Belafonte, whose nasty divorce is drenched in controversy. The sex tapes of her estranged ex-husband with their nanny, which Mel claims to have filmed herself, were even going to be used as evidence in their bitter divorce proceedings.
Then is the case of private photos falling into the wrong hands. Like when several nude images of celebs such as Tiger Woods, Miley Cyrus and Kristen Stewart were released by hackers last year.
However deep a relationship, it’s important to respect privacy. Lalita Anand, founder of Teenage Foundation and a career counsellor who mentors adolescents and grooms them in life skills and personality development, says, “One must never share intimate photos of oneself. Not even with a spouse. It could lead to trouble when you least expect it. When something like this strikes, it will be devastating,” she says, adding, “In teenage relationships, sharing passwords is a definite no-no. Everybody is entitled to privacy and by keeping yours, you are only protecting yourself. Even if married, all kinds of passwords should be kept to yourself.”
Recounting a terrible experience, Vandana (name changed), an MBA student, says, “A close friend shared intimate photos with her boyfriend and the guy even knew her social media passwords. After a year, she found out that he is a drug addict and a womaniser. When she wanted to break up, he started to blackmail her. He said if she moves on, he would leak those photographs. She went into depression.”
Nisha (name changed), who split from her husband recently, also has a harrowing tale to tell. Nisha was earning well and she had a joint account with her ex. Unfortunately, she hadn’t availed the service where a transaction alert would be sent to her too, so only the ex got them. She explains, “After we broke up, I forgot that he still had access to the account. Almost a year later, when I was trying to pay the credit card bills, I discovered that they were going way beyond my expenditure. I calculated every expense listed over the previous months and was shocked to discover that I hadn’t spent most of the money. I saw the pattern of expenditure and realised they were all his regular hangout places. It was me who was pumping in most of the money into the account, so when I confronted him, he went ahead and said, ‘Do what you like, because I am not returning any of it.’ I sure have learnt my lesson!”