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4 in 10 Singaporeans have bugged their partners, according to a recent Kaspersky's survey

By Aaron Yip - on 25 Feb 2024, 11:28am

4 in 10 Singaporeans have bugged their partners, according to a recent Kaspersky's survey

Note: This article was first published on 14 February 2024.

In a revealing exploration of digital intimacy gone awry, a recent survey by cybersecurity giant Kaspersky has shed light on the shadowy corners of online dating and digital surveillance, casting a stark spotlight on the lengths to which individuals will go to monitor those they claim to love. The study, canvassing the experiences of 21,000 people across the globe, including 1,000 Singaporeans, uncovers a troubling panorama of digital abuse that merits a serious conversation.

Singapore, often seen as a bastion of technological advancement and digital savvy, is not immune to the darker facets of tech use. A significant 22% of Singaporean respondents confessed to tracking their partners' movements to verify their claims, revealing a disturbing lack of trust in personal relationships. Furthermore, the survey disclosed that 27% had been the target of online stalking by someone they were beginning to date, while a worrying 43% expressed fears of falling prey to such surveillance.

The numbers speak volumes about the prevalent misuse of technology: 42% of those surveyed admitted to installing stalkerware or using monitoring tools on their partners' phones. This figure not only highlights a breach of privacy but also underscores the precarious balance between love and control in the digital age.

Globally, the scenario is similarly disconcerting. From Malaysia's 37% to India's staggering 53%, the admission rates for installing such invasive software illustrate a worldwide issue that transcends cultural and geographic boundaries.

The survey paints a broader picture of harassment, with over a third of participants reporting abuse from a current or former partner. Disturbingly, 16% were filmed or photographed without their consent, and 12% had stalkerware covertly installed on their devices, pointing to a grave invasion of privacy that could have lasting psychological impacts.

In Singapore, the gender disparity in the acceptance of monitoring tools is notable, with 39% of males compared to 25% of females admitting to such actions. This statistic not only highlights a significant issue of trust and control within relationships but also reflects broader societal norms and expectations around privacy and autonomy.

Adrian Hia, Managing Director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky, emphasizes the urgent need for action against the use of stalkerware. “This insidious tool fuels harmful behaviour, and Kaspersky is tackling it head on. We will continue to raise awareness, share expertise, and collaborate with partners from public and private sectors. It is our unwavering mission to equip victims with knowledge and guide them towards the safest path, ultimately reversing the tide against digital abuse,” he says.

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