If you’ve ever been tempted to sneak a peek at a friend or partner’s phone when they leave it lying around, know that you aren’t alone. According to a study conducted by the data recovery experts at Secure Data Recovery, 82% of Americans say that they have snooped on someone else’s device at some point in their lives. Of the 82% of those surveyed that have snooped, a whopping 81% say that they haven’t been caught in the act.
Have you ever snooped on someone’s phone?
“The motivations for snooping are also quite telling,” the study notes. “While general curiosity (59%) is the most commonly cited reason for snooping, a significant portion of Americans are driven by suspicions of wrongdoing (56%).”
Secure Data Recovery postulates that the “ease and accessibility” of digital snooping might be why it’s so common. As long as a phone, tablet, or computer is unlocked, virtually anyone with even the most basic understanding of how to operate the device in question can start clicking through texts, emails, photos, documents, and more in seconds.
Unsurprisingly, the reason most people claim they decided to snoop was to look at messages (87%). That includes text messages, emails, social media DMs, and more. It seems that we’re most curious about what our friends are saying to everyone else.
As for those who snoop on their romantic partners, 53% report finding something incriminating or concerning. A majority of the snoopers say that the concerning content they uncovered was evidence of either in-person infidelity or digital flirting and/or cheating.
As dishonorable as snooping may be, the study shows that “over a third report not feeling any regret or remorse after snooping, which indicates that they may feel rational in their actions or are comfortable with snooping as a behavior.”
If there’s one important takeaway from this study, it’s that you should probably put a passcode on all of your devices, as snooping is more common than you think.
Secure Data Recovery surveyed 1,003 people across the United States for this study.