You use long passphrases with letters and numbers. You’re careful to make sure your passwords are always unique. But there may be one threat to your digital security that you haven’t fully considered: love.

While everyone should know that sharing login credentials is a big security no-no, in the context of a romantic relationship, the reality is that it’s far from unusual. “Basically everybody shares accounts,” says Jason Hong, a professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s Human-Computer Interaction Institute. “If you’re not sharing accounts, then you are the oddball.”

Hong is part of a research group focused on social cybersecurity, which takes real-world human behaviour as a starting point for security practices. “If you look at cybersecurity today, they sort of assume that people are individual actors, and sort of rational,” he says. “A lot of research has shown that that’s not really the case.”

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By boon