Last updated on June 18, 2024

Names and places mentioned herein are hypothetical.

Asela and Chamathka were school sweethearts. They had been at the same school since grade 6. They started as good friends, but by grade 12, their friendship had turned into a romance. Despite their relationship, Asela and Chamathka were dedicated students, never missing classes or letting their love interfere with their studies. They were a bit competitive when it came to test scores.

Both sat for their A/L exam and enrolled in a computer class together afterward. A few months later, the results were out. Chamathka passed with flying colors and was certain to get into university. Asela passed too, but his results were not as good. Everyone, including Asela, thought he should retake the exam.

Before Chamathka left for university, her father bought her a new smartphone. When she met Asela, he behaved differently

Asela : I’m sure you might meet someone better darling. We won’t see each other much, and you might forget me.

Chamathka : No, that’ll never happen. We can always meet during vacations, and we’ll call each other in between.

Asela asked to see her new phone, and without her noticing, he changed some settings and installed some software, claiming it was a virus guard. Chamathka thanked him.
They met once more before she left.

Asela : I will really miss you. Be safe, and we will meet soon. By the way, can I have your Facebook and Instagram passwords?

Chamathka was surprised,

Chamathka : Why do you want them now?

Asela : If you love me, you have to. I don’t think you have anything to hide from me.

Reluctantly, Chamathka gave him her passwords. They kept in touch through calls and texts, but Asela became increasingly jealous. One day, he changed all her passwords and refused to give them back. He posted many photos of them as if Chamathka was doing it, which bothered her. She even felt like her phone was being controlled by someone, and she suspected it was Asela. Plus, she noted that her neighbours look at her in a weird manner and some passed hints of a photo leak.

Chamathka went to her mobile service provider with a friend to check the abnormal condition of her phone. The technician found that a phone monitoring software had been installed on it. She remembered the day Asela took her phone. Chamathka felt scared when she realized that Asela might be misusing all her personal information and private photos stored on her phone. She started crying without knowing what to do. She never thought that the person whom she loved the most would treat her in such a way. Meanwhile her friend suggested her to contact Hithawathi that had visited their school for an awareness session on cyber-safety.

Chamathka called Hithawathi and shared her story. The agent listened carefully and advised her not to make emotional decisions due to this unexpected situation. Hithawathi further said that it is not wise to share the passwords with anyone and not even ethical to ask for passwords of others no matter how close they are. Chamathka was directed to Women In Need (WIN) for free legal assistance to stop her being abused by the so-called boyfriend. Chamathka thanked Hithawathi for their support.

Precaution Tips:

  • Treat your password like your toothbrush. Never share it with anyone
  • Add an extra layer of security by enabling Two-Factor Authentication (2FA), which requires a second form of verification beyond just the password. Keep a list of back-up codes of social media accounts wherever possible
  • Complete security questions and add recovery phone numbers with email addresses that alert you to compromising attempts.
  • Do not share your devices with anyone and in case you really have to, activate guest mode if available / create a separate user account / use app lockers to limit access to specific apps
  • Do not forget to log out of personal online accounts (social media, email and banking accounts) when you use a shared / public computer. Never save your passwords in those devices
  • It is not recommended to record intimate scenes or allow others to take pictures / video of your nudity as once they’re leaked for some reason it is going to be a long process to recover
  • If you are a woman facing this type of a situation, you may reach out to Women in Need (WIN), an organization dedicated to providing women and children with free legal and counselling support
  • Cyber-criminal complaints that are clearly mentioned with relevant evidence can be handed over to the CID, or sent to “The Director, Criminal Investigation Department, Colombo 01” by registered post. Additionally, you have the option of emailing the same via