Some time ago, Amelia and I were chatting over IM about snooping. If I remember correctly, it was in the context of a discussion about sharing passwords. Should you share your email password? Your Facebook password? Your debit card PIN number? Is it a big, serious relationship step to do those things or not super-serious at all and just a byproduct of our digitized lifestyle? I was very pro-sharing passwords, because I have nothing to hide. Go read my emails, I don’t care! The only reason I wanted to share passwords with my boyfriend was to make life easier: we share his laptop at home and I needed to be able to log in whenever I needed. My reason for wanting passwords was not at all motivated by wanting to sneak around in my boyfriend’s private business. I sincerely believed he had nothing to hide from me either.
But more importantly, snooping in someone’s email, or listening to their voice mails, or any of those other privacy-violating things, just seemed like a douchey thing to do. It implied a lack of trust. It implied suspicion. It implied an insecurity on my part. I am a huge, huge, HUGE believer in the Golden Rule and I would never snoop in someone’s private business, I thought, because that is not the way that I would want to be treated. “I just couldn’t go into someone’s emails like that,” I surely told Amelia. “You say that now when everything’s fine,” she replied, in words that have stuck in my head ever since. “But if you really thought something was up, you would do anything at your disposal to find out what he wasn’t telling you.” Keep reading »
Ruh-roh. Turns out that innocent snooping you’ve done in your significant other’s email could get your charged with a felony. A Michigan man named Leon Walker used his wife’s password to log into her email, which led to him discovering that she had been having an affair. His wife has since filed for divorce, but Walker is facing far bigger legal woes — namely that he could spend five years in prison if prosecutors prove their case. It’s going to be tough one, however. For starters, they’re depending on a Michigan statute typically used to prosecute crimes such as identity theft or stealing trade secrets, and this is the first time it’s being used to prosecute a domestic case. Walker’s case will also be aided by the fact that he and his ex lived together at the time of the alleged “crime,” and he had access to her laptop (not to mention knew her password and didn’t, say, “hack” into her account). Regardless, the fact that he’s even been charged should make you think twice the next time you’re thinking about logging into anyone’s email besides your own. [Detroit Free Press] Keep reading »
Yeah, we know, snooping is wrong. It’s unethical. It demonstrates a lack of respect and trust. But it’s just so goddamn hard to resist! I’m a Scorpio, which means I am curious by nature (hence my career as a Super Serious Journalist), and I’ve never met a medicine cabinet or open email account that I didn’t have the intense desire to peek at. For the most part, my snooping has resulted in a big fat wad of nothing, though one time I discovered a woman I was babysitting for was pregnant again before her husband knew. When it comes to significant others, snooping can be especially tempting, but the results of that clandestine investigating can be far more fruitful — and hurtful — than finding out the woman who pays you $10 an hour to watch TV with her toddler is about to add a screaming baby to the roster. Here are seven shocking things you may not want to find out about when snooping on your S.O. Keep reading »
It’s time again for “Dear Wendy Updates,” a feature where people I’ve given advice to in the past let us know whether they followed the advice and how they’re doing today. After the jump, we hear from “Snoop Dog,” that guy who “just happened” to guess the password to his girlfriend’s email and discovered she’d been emailing back and forth with an ex. “The emails aren’t really all that exciting,” he wrote, “just things like ‘how are you doing?’ and updates on people they both know and general stuff like that. I’m not sure what to do here. Should I confront her about it?” After the jump, find out whether he confronted her or not and if they’re still together. Keep reading »