Attitudes towards dating apps and services have grown progressively more positive in recent years. People are now not only turning to their devices to work, shop, and play, but to manage their personal lives and relationships too. Online dating is becoming more popular. Are online daters giving away too much about themselves? Are they, through online dating, exposing themselves and their devices to malicious people — or indeed malware — all too easily? The following report summarises our findings.
Methodology An online survey conducted by research firm B2B International and Kaspersky Lab in August assessed the attitudes of 21, users aged over 16 years old from 32 countries. This report outlines the responses of 6, online dating users from 30 of the countries surveyed answers from respondents in China and the UAE have been excluded regarding their online activity, including the types of devices they use, the kind of information they share, and any concerns they might have about online dating apps and services.
Data was weighted to be globally representative and consistent, split equally between men and women, and not all the results from the study have been included in this report. To request further data please contact Kaspersky Lab at prhq kaspersky. Someone near you is dating online Online dating provides users with the ideal place to meet people that have similar likes, dislikes and character traits to them.
So, if one-in-three people out there are doing it, who is the typical online dater? Although such a large number of people are dating online, our study has found that if you decide to take part, you are most likely to be in the company of users that meet the following criteria. People that date online are most likely to be: This tech-savvy age group is likely embracing online dating as a way to meet interesting new people while balancing busy professional lives.
Online daters are most likely to visit dating apps and services from Windows PCs and Android smartphones than any other type of device. So why are these people going online to start up relationships with others?
Certainly, online dating provides all the convenience of making it quick and easy to meet people. Gender differences also come into play. It allows users to share snippets of their lives. It acts as a window, or a preview of a person, enticing others to reach out to them or find out more. Is the profile crucial to the success of online dating?
But is profile information secure? We found that a worrying number of online dating users are, through their profiles, placing sensitive information about themselves into the public domain, which could potentially lead them to harm if the information was to fall into the wrong hands.
All of this information, in the wrong hands, can be used to track online dating users and their families online and offline, to crack their accounts by guessing passwords, for blackmail, and more. That, of course, is not always a safe or a good thing. However, there is a disparity between men and women. When it comes to personal information, men are ready to share information about themselves much faster than women are. Turn-offs Despite the high proportion of people who use online dating services or apps, there are several factors that can put users off.
Faking it People might turn to online dating for fun and to strike up new relationships, but ironically our study shows that a large number of people lie in the process, and this in itself is off-putting. Among those that admitted they lie during online dating, the most popular things to lie about include their names, marital status, location and appearance — such as by showing fake photos.
Either way, people faking it is one of the most hated aspects of online dating. So, why are people lying online? But other reasons vary from people trying to catch their partners cheating, to trying to make themselves look better, or simply lying for the fun of it.
With online dating so prevalent, users are clearly giving strangers access to their lives, which could perhaps be why those who date online have concerns about their online safety. Meanwhile, older age groups have slightly different concerns. The data suggests that men put themselves at risk more than women. In addition, around one-in-ten have had their device hacked, have had their data infected, shared, or become the victim of financial fraud.
However, the study also shows that people are not protecting themselves properly when they are dating online. So, there is an awareness and certain level of concern about the dangers involved in online dating. This just needs to translate into action. Digital devices act as a window to the rest of the world, including our relationships.
This is even more the case where online dating is concerned. This form of striking up new relationships is entirely dependent on our digital platforms or smart devices. People are, because of online dating, literally carrying their dates around with them in their pockets. While this comes with a large amount of convenience, it also comes with its own risks.
Online dating, indeed, requires the exchange of a certain level of information which, if placed in the wrong hands, can be misused. They are also at heightened risk of experiencing an IT security-related problem such as having their data leaked or exposed in some way. Yet, they do little to protect themselves, with only one-in-three putting basic security measures in place such as using strong passwords or restraining themselves to sharing limited information about themselves online.
The boundary between online dating and the real world can very easily be blurred. Information about home addresses, once shared, can very quickly result in strangers turning up on doorsteps, personal information and sensitive photos can very easily turn into blackmail opportunities or put hacked accounts in the hands of cybercriminals. Far from advising people to reduce their online dating activities, we simply would like to advise online daters to exercise caution, just like they would in the physical world.
If you chose to date online, be careful not to click on unknown links that could be malicious, and try to avoid using insecure Wi-Fi hotspots where data can be intercepted by cybercriminals. Furthermore, use protection in the form of a security solution and strong, hard-to-guess passwords, be savvy about how much data you give away and, importantly, look after the data you care about the most.