Share and Share Alike? An Exploration of Secure Behaviors in Romantic Relationships


Cheul Young Park, Cori Faklaris, Siyan Zhao, Alex Sciuto, Laura Dabbish, and Jason Hong, Carnegie Mellon University


Security design choices often fail to take into account users' social context. Our work is among the first to examine security behavior in romantic relationships. We surveyed 195 people on Amazon Mechanical Turk about their relationship status and account sharing behavior for a cross-section of popular websites and apps (e.g., Netflix, Amazon Prime). We examine differences in account sharing behavior at different stages in a relationship and for people in different age groups and income levels. We also present a taxonomy of sharing motivations and behaviors based on the iterative coding of open-ended responses. Based on this taxonomy, we present design recommendations to support end users in three relationship stages: when they start sharing access with romantic partners; when they are maintaining that sharing; and when they decide to stop. Our findings contribute to the field of usable privacy and security by enhancing our understanding of security and privacy behaviors and needs in intimate social relationships.

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@inproceedings {219396,
author = {Cheul Young Park and Cori Faklaris and Siyan Zhao and Alex Sciuto and Laura Dabbish and Jason Hong},
title = {Share and Share Alike? An Exploration of Secure Behaviors in Romantic Relationships},
booktitle = {Fourteenth Symposium on Usable Privacy and Security (SOUPS 2018)},
year = {2018},
isbn = {978-1-939133-10-6},
address = {Baltimore, MD},
pages = {83--102},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug