Whether you're a cold war spy or just a garden variety cheater, secret communication is the name of the game when planning your furtive trysts. A dead drop in Sarajevo might be over the top for your average affair but if you like piña coladas and cheating on your partner, the information age has made covert messaging easier than ever.
A new survey by the extramarital aficionados over at Ashley Madison polled 1,500 of their users and found the top five ways cheaters conduct their dangerous liaisons.
It should come as no surprise that "personal phone" was the number one answer. Of the respondents, 56 percent said they preferred to use their smart phones to communicate with their partners in cheating. Small, discreet, secure, and on you at all times, a smart phone is an obvious choice, but message notifications can be a serious flaw if not properly managed.
Relationship coach Chris Armstrong says being overly protective of a phone can be one of the more recognizable behaviors of someone having an affair. "One clue is that their cell phone will be glued to their hands and their text and call history will always be clean."
Coming in at number two was email. Forty percent of respondents said they choose email as their preferred means of communication. Perhaps the ubiquity of free email accounts makes this make this a more secure choice for those willing to take the extra step, but for those using their main personal accounts, being constantly logged in or an accidental CC could spell disaster.
Choice number three for cheaters was dating websites. Twenty percent of users prefer to communicate in the same way they met. Isabella Mise, Director of Communications at Ashley Madison, told Bustle:
Given that discretion is paramount to our members, it's surprising that around half of respondents say they store their extramarital partner name in their phone, when they can just as easily communicate more discreetly within the Ashley Madison platform, reducing their digital footprint.
Aside from the hazards of leaving a visit to Ashley Madison in your browser history, there's also the added danger of leaving your extramarital buddy in a sea full of other willing cheaters.
For 18 percent of respondents, social media messaging was the platform of choice. Direct messages on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram might be easy but it's a dangerous line to walk, using the same platform to broadcast very public details and arrange very private indiscretions.
While perhaps the safest option, number five seems like the most expensive and most inconvenient. Eleven percent said they use a second cell phone to cheat. Burner phones may be cheap and disposable but also a giant red flag that you're up to no good.