Is it OK to Cyber-Snoop?

Back by popular demand! You guys loved this article on whether or not it's OK to e-snoop.
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Is it OK to Cyber-Snoop?

Back by popular demand! You guys loved this article on whether or not it’s OK to e-snoop.

-Carrie Seim

Is it OK to Cyber-Snoop?

You’re out for drinks with your boyfriend. He excuses himself to go to the men’s room, leaving his iPhone on the table. Suddenly, it buzzes alive with a text message, just like it’s been doing every night this week. Should you “innocently” pick it up and find out who the hell keeps lighting up your man? Or should you let sleeping phones lie?

Last year, a study by Virgin Mobile Australia found that one-third of cell phone users admitted to text message snooping. And most of those sneaking a peek at their partner’s phones were women, according to the survey.

It’s hard to resist the temptation of snooping through our significant other’s texts, emails, digital pics and Facebook messages. These days we leave a trail of e-crumbs behind our every step – and our every sin. Like it or loathe it, this all makes e-snooping easier than ever. 

Read eFlirting 101

But when – if ever – is cyber-snooping OK?

Dave, 38, an L.A.-based writer and director, cheekily explains the rules this way:

“According to the Freedom of Information Act, Paragraph 2, Clause 6.3: A person is entitled to the information contained within and transmitted by the communication devices of the person they are dating if and only if said person is asleep, in the bathroom or forgot the thing at your house. All other instances of snooping are wrong, immoral and scandalous without written permission and punishable by noogies, wedgies and wet willies.”

Greg, a 31-year-old guy from the Midwest, sarcastically points out to BettyConfidential that snooping “isn’t any more wrong than stealing someone’s credit card or hitting on their best friend.”

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Ouch. Clearly, men aren’t down with e-snooping. But if they’ve got nothing to hide, what’s the big deal?

Becky, a 29-year-old stay-at-home mom from Toronto, says the fact that her husband leaves his passwords lying around indicates he “wants me to look” at his email. She frequently scans his account for notes from unfamiliar females.

“If he gets overly friendly with a new colleague on email, I bring it up with him,” she says. “I’ve even asked him to cut contact with certain women.” However, she claims she really isn’t worried that her husband might be cheating. “Checking his email is like taking vitamins – it’s a preventative measure!”

Unfortunately, most cases of cyber snooping don’t have such a happy ending.


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24 thoughts on “Is it OK to Cyber-Snoop?

  1. 24glow says:

    I think the only people who snoop don’t trust their partner in the first place and are just looking for an excuse.

  2. kitty says:

    I don’t know … I find it pretty hard to resist when iPhones make it so easy!

  3. BODphila says:

    I snooped extensively on an ex because when I confronted him, he lied. And lied and lied. You are right that snooping rarely leads to good news but that little voice in your head that tells you to do it already knows…

  4. lpfns says:

    Snooping is tempting, for sure, but it’s not worth it.

    I wouldn’t like it if someone was snooping on me. Not because I’m doing anything wrong, it’s just an invasion of privacy that doesn’t feel good.

  5. lpfns says:

    Snooping is tempting, for sure, but it's not worth it.

    I wouldn't like it if someone was snooping on me. Not because I'm doing anything wrong, it's just an invasion of privacy that doesn't feel good.

  6. petite says:

    If you see and hear something suspicious, you better act. I personally don’t want to devote and spend my life for a cheater. It’s juts not worth it. If your partnet does nothing wrong you guys two will be fine.

  7. Fern says:

    the worst is when you aren’t even snooping, but find out something by accident. Like through a pocket call — ughhhh

  8. BarbMayer724 says:

    I snooped on my ex husband when he stayed up all night on the computer. Back then, I could see all his emails and photos without logging on. I discovered that he was indeed messing around on me. Proof positive was a bunch of emails with sexually explicit information and pictures of women very scantily clad. I told his mother about his perversion and she did not believe me. Then I showed her what I had found on OUR computer. She believed me and understood why I divorced her son.

  9. PrincesseBonBon says:

    Its’ totally unacceptable to read someone else’s private mail. If someone does that, there is something basically wrong with the relationship. Fix it, or end it.

  10. HTawney says:

    Snooping is just a sign of bigger issues in a relationship. If you’re snooping, there is obviously a lack of trust. I’ll admit, I’ve done it before, and it only leads to less and less trust in the other person.

  11. esolkneerod says:

    If you suspect cheating and have discussed it with your SO and still don’t believe them, I believe that you should confirm the cheating to yourself and then decide what to do.

  12. marie1206 says:

    It’s the worst feeling to be suspicious enough to have to snoop. It’s like the only thing on your mind at that point to feel that you have to look. By the time you get enough nerve to do it, your heart starts racing and you feel faint from the feelings it creates. Whenever I’ve had that gut feeling to check, I’ve always found out that my gut feelings were right, however the feeling that comes after of fright then disappointment then anger is worse than the feeling of HAVING to look in the first place

  13. CCG says:

    I must, now, check: he’s a guy with fetish tendencies, and the first three times I found stuff, it was utterly on accident. For instance:

    The month we married, I was on his computer, for his sis, & tabbed on Yahoo to send her something. He was still signed in, and I found mass amounts of fetish porn and some subscription details.

    I was on his new Google Chrome (with the incognito window function) last month and tabbed to YouTube (to which he was still signed on) and found his posted fetish vids.

    LOTS of Etc.

    I didn’t ever start snooping until the first, and hadn’t done so for 6+ mo. when I found the last… and an account on onlinebootycall.com that he said he didn’t sign up for, though a password was emailed to his account, when I requested, that ONLY he would know.

    Gals, take a look. IF you’re married or in a seriously committed relationship: you may nip the tendency in the bud, or you may just learn to trust your instincts really well, and have proof to ask him: ‘is our relationship worth saving?’.

    Either way, NEITHER of you should have any reasons to keep secrets from the other. IF you are doing the same kind of thing, STOP NOW. Confess to him. If you suspect him, ask him to tell you. If you have proof, tell him, show him, and ask him what’s going on. Don’t be accusatory: ASK him what, why, and how you can help him to stop hurting you by doing this.
    :)
    Hopeful happy to all

  14. mihwa1 says:

    I admit I snooped, which I hate, but he kept gripping the phone constantly, would disappear for days with no calls, texts, etc. He has 6 kids with 2 women so always used the kid excuse. I discovered messages and photos from numerous women whom he claimed were “friends” but one woman sent her full frontal nude shot and messages about sex in the shower…so I ask you, “friend”???!!! Really??! How DUMB do you think I am???!!

  15. tavobxby says:

    Honestly, I only snooped with an ex boyfriend when he left his phone at my house, and I saw some texts from someone labeled “J” using some inappropriate language. I confronted him first, but he lied, and I knew it, so I began snooping. And I found some terrible stuff…He and this girl (she was PREGNANT) had been talking for a while, as well as him and about 10 OTHER girls. I printed out all the proof i needed, woke him up, dropped it on his bed, and “kindly” escorted him out… on a less mature note, I called/messaged ALL of them explaining exactly what he had done…

    Since then, I’ve had boyfriends who’ve started heading down that path. I’ve told them either stop or leave, and for the most part they stop (my current, as far as I can tell) And until I get a feeling or someone calls me, he can have his space, and I’ll have mine. But I do think if your man’s been acting sketchy, the phone is fair game, ladies. Give them their space, snoop if you need to proof, because lets face it…men lie.

  16. violet6d7 says:

    I snooped through my boyfriend’s Facebook messages, and found one to his ex-wife where he was reliving a great sexual experience they’d had. Put me in the 73% category please.

  17. sweetside123 says:

    I believe that this issue is a clear double-standard. It’s the whole ‘Do as I say, not as I do’ type of person who does this. I admit that I’ve done it, and I’ve regretted it. It’s only natural that we get urges to snoop in our boy/girlfriend/husband/wife’s computer or phone, because humans are greedy by nature. We also need the security that we can trust others, and if that little red flag goes off in your head and you feel the need to snoop, then something is happening that shouldn’t be. I suggest ‘casually’ mentioning that something doesn’t feel right, and if the significant other starts to fidget in their seat or even cast a glance to their phone or computer, that should be a sure sign that the little voice in your head is right and that whatever the problem is needs to be resolved as soon as possible.

    If he gets defensive, back off a little, but if he starts trying to turn the accusations towards you, then you need to get out of that relationship, and FAST. He’s obviously hiding something. Let’s not forget that women are also capable of this, so this is a heads up to all you guys out there as well.

  18. sweetside123 says:

    As an afterthought, I will admit to you all right now that yes, I would hate for my lover to snoop on me. But it’s all fair if I’m doing it to him, right? We shouldn’t have to snoop on our significant others, and if we do, then that just proves that there’s never been any trust to begin with, or not enough.

    Snoop if you need proof, as tavobxby wonderfully put it. It may be a double-standard, but there are a lot of pros AND cons as to why you should and shouldn’t go through their stuff. It almost always ends in heartbreak, but really, what can we do? If they act dodgy, then snoop and pray your concerns aren’t correct.

  19. WikkidLilGrrrl says:

    i used to snoop through my now ex’s history on his computer and wasnt happy when I found porn sites…but other than that it was benign…as far as i know…

  20. taldis says:

    Sometimes you don’t even need to truly snoop. My boyfriend of three years and I have always had trust issues, because of things that have happened early in our relationship. If I see him texting, and I mean A LOT, I start asking him who/what’s going on. If I feel like he’s stumbling through an answer, then I ask if it’s ok to read something. Also, if you think something’s up, men always make mistakes. He left open a tab he shouldn’t have once on my laptop and a bunch of truth came out. He was logged on under an account I didn’t know about, and he left up his email inbox, that had messages from people with, let’s just say, not respectable names. Guys are careless.

  21. bsassy says:

    Funny cause I had always trusted my partner to the fullest because I never had reason to think otherwise until… I started getting that feeling. You know what it is girls and it sucks. So I went to his computer and there was an open chat with another girl on there (a mutual friend) that was totally inappropriate. I confronted him and he said it was nothing BUT he changed all his passwords to his phones, computers, etc because now he said he couldn’t trust me! We are still together but I know in my heart I was right and feel resentment towards him… not because of what he allegedly did but because he lied to me about it and somehow made me feel like I had done something wrong :(
    People shouldn’t snoop but people shouldn’t cheat either… both are done to often…

  22. KittyK says:

    I had a friend who had chatted with women online because he claimed his wife at the time hadn’t been intimate with him for 15 years! I was shocked and horrified at that bit of insight, but then he said she discovered he had been chatting ONLY with a woman, she called the woman’s husband and got her in trouble with him. This, of course, infuriated my friend and inevitably lead to a divorce! My own personal opinion of this was that BOTH needed serious therapy if he was indeed telling me the truth, plus the wife should have taken a look at their chaste situation and FIX IT before jumping into the divorce courts! Sadly, I really believe this to be true.. so I’m only suggesting if anyone else out there can relate to it, GET SOME THERAPY!!!! And obviously, if you snoop, not only be prepared to discover some nasties, but be prepared to FIX them… PROPERLY!

  23. KittyK says:

    I can also understand you, bsassy. I’ve been divorced for many years now because I trusted my own husband… THEN he decided to tell me about “her”! Of course at the time he was very badly into booze but I was busy with 3 kids … one of them in diapers… so I didn’t see what was right under my nose. :( Took him back many times before I smartened up and quit trying… because he simply *wouldn’t* sober up and smarten up. I feel so sad when I hear of people cheating …. if one feels they need to, they should ask themselves WHY. Then fix the problem before they selfishly trample on innocent lives. Not only the innocent spouse, but if kids are involved, THEY get hurt and scarred, too. Mine did.

  24. dismayed says:

    Absolutely, it’s OK. A few months ago, my wife of 9 years was acting emotionally distant. She was typing on the computer until late at night every night. I finally got suspicious enough to buy a key logging program. After obtaining her email password, I found that she was having an emotional affair with an aquaintance. We have since begun rebuilding our marriage, and fixing the things which were wrong with our marriage. If I hadn’t snooped, we are both pretty certain the affair would have progressed to the physical realm, as well as the emothional one. Think of it this way, if you’re breaking into a house to extinguish a fire, is it still wrong to break into a house? As far as we are concerned, right to privacy does not mean the right to hide behavior that is wrong.

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