Criminals are always on the lookout for gaps, and lonely people have now become targets.
Cybersecurity and anti-virus provider, Kaspersky Lab, has discovered a range of vulnerabilities contained in popular dating apps which have the potential to result in various negative consequences for users. It can be anything from simply identifying a particular person, to unsecured data transmissions and the leaking of personal information.
“Dating apps are quickly becoming more popular all over the world. As many as one in three people, globally, are currently using an online dating service. But, with the increasing popularity of these services comes an important security issue, since most dating services require users to share personal information,” said Roman Unuchek, security expert at Kaspersky Lab.
This research revealed that users face multiple risks when using online dating apps. For example, they can be identified by finding out their names and surnames from social network profiles and can also be found in the physical world through the use of geolocation data. Furthermore, they can lose access to their accounts, or have their personal data fall into the wrong hands.
“We have discovered a security risk present in several applications related to the token-based authentication method which is used by dating apps for new registration and sign-ups. Tokens are often stored or used insecurely and, therefore, can be easily stolen. As a result, intruders are able to gain access to victims’ accounts even without their login and password details,” said Unuchek.
“Our research demonstrates that users of dating apps should care about cybersecurity because many services are not protected against attacks. Users are putting themselves at risk by sharing personal information in their profiles such as their place of education and work.
“Intruders can find victims’ accounts on Facebook and LinkedIn networks. It also opens possibilities for stalking, and users should be sure to carefully monitor their privacy, security and data protection when dating online.”
Unuchek said to protect yourself, avoid public Wi-Fi hotspots which offer limited protection. Use a VPN to ensure a secure connection. Don’t share sensitive ID information, such as education, workplace etc, and install a reliable security solution on your device.