Snooping Through Your Partner's Phone Is Breaking The Law

It's probably worth resisting the urge from now on.
Kinga Krzeminska via Getty Images

Do you find yourself occasionally snooping through your partner’s phone? Maybe you think they’re cheating or that they’re otherwise up to no good and just need to do a quick loyalty check?

If you’ve done it, you’re not alone. In fact, according to a survey conducted by SellCell, 40% of people have caught their partners snooping through their phones.

Research commissioned by IBB Solicitors and Atomik found those aged 25-34 and 35-44 are most likely to have snooped on their partner’s messages, while over-55s are the least likely.

The convenience of smartphones means we can spy on our loved one’s lives much more easily than we could before – but that doesn’t mean that having a quick snoop of your partner’s phone, even just once, is OK.

In fact, it’s not only considered abusive behaviour, but it’s also illegal.

We all have a legal right to privacy

Whether it’s a partner, friend, or family member, nobody is allowed to access your phone without permission and accessing somebody’s phone without consent is illegal.

According to the Computer Misuse Act 1990, it’s illegal to hack into voicemails or computers to obtain information without the consent of the owner. We all have a legal right to privacy, regardless of what relationship we have to people.

It’s also a form of domestic abuse; specifically falling under the definition of stalking and while it may feel like just a guilty pleasure, it’s actually incredibly harmful to both your partner and your relationship.

What to do if you think your partner is cheating

Snooping through phones is clearly not the best solution, so what can you do?

BetterHelp says: “Your partner’s concrete actions are often a more reliable guide than your own fears. If you do have enough evidence to believe he’s cheating, asking him about it – if you feel safe doing so – may be a next step to consider.”

However, if you don’t feel safe or comfortable confronting your partner, Relate can offer relationship advice and support including: ongoing counselling; email or phone counselling; one session therapy and mediation.

In the meantime, try to resist the urge to snoop through your partner’s phone – for both of your sakes.