The COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to be heavily dependent on technology and that has resulted in a lot of online security threats. Meanwhile, dating apps have also suffered a lot amid pandemic and there were concerns over their safety. Kaspersky researchers conducted an in-depth study on nine popular dating apps to basically analyse how safe they were and what they found was interesting.
Kaspersky took nine popular and highly rated dating apps for its research- Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Mamba, Pure, Feeld, Her, Happn, and Badoo. While in 2017, 4 out of these 9 apps intercepted data sent from the app and used the unencrypted HTTP protocol, 2021 brought a drastic change in the situation as none of these apps used HTTP, and no data is sent if the protocol is not secure.
Almost all the dating apps let users register their account with one of their social networking sites, like Instagram, Facebook, Spotify, etc and their profile is automatically populated after taking information from their social media profiles.
Besides that, users are also asked to share information about their place of work or university. This entire process makes it easier for people to find dating app users’ social media accounts along with personal information.
Besides that, some of the apps like Happn, Her, Bumble, and Tinder make it mandatory for users to give details about their location.
This personal information’s access such as users’ location, place of work, name, contact information, etc. creates an opportunity for online stalking, and then there are concerns over the data-stealing as well.
Now, irrespective of the dating app you choose to use, there are certain things you can do to stay safe:
- It is advisable to not share too much personal information (last name, employer, photos with friends, political views, etc) in your profile
- Do not tie other social media accounts to your profile
- Select your location manually, if possible
- Use two-factor authentication, if possible
- Delete or hide your profile if you are no longer using the app
- Use the built-in messenger in dating apps. It’s better to move to other messengers only if you trust your match. If you finally decide to do so, set up the chat in a way that keeps your private info secure.