As Valentine's Day approaches, many online romantics are busy swiping right to meet their one true Tinderella or Tinderfella. Last year, social media giant Facebook made an official debut into the online dating scene with Facebook Dating. However, days before they enter the dating space, TechCrunch reported that personal data of 419 millions Facebook accounts were exposed and compromised in a public online database. If the social media giant is not doing so great in privacy and security features, how well exactly can you trust other dating apps?
Unfortunately, just like any other social media platforms, data breaches are not uncommon in dating apps. In 2019, it was reported that online dating company Heyyo leaked and exposed a private and confidential database of 72,000 users. Evidently, privacy and security features are not the most developed. In fact, a handful of dating apps were accused of selling confidential information and breaching privacy regulations.
The Norwegian Consumer Council reported that several dating apps share confidential information and profiles of their clients with at least 135 different third-party companies for advertising purposes. These details include a user's exact location, sexual orientation, religious and political beliefs, drug use etc. Often times, dating apps will also encourage you to overshare your personal information so that your account will be verified or your chances of getting matches are higher. However, once online dating companies and advertisers get hold of your precious personal information, they will then curate and display marketing advertisements according to your preferences and interests. For instance, the shoe that you have been eyeing on a particular shopping website or restaurants that you may enjoy. With the bulk of your private information being shared and distributed by online dating organisations, the chances of you receiving blackmails and cyberattacks is almost higher than finding your one true love.
Our thoughts: With the rising trend of privacy, security and scam concerns, dating apps do not seem to be as much of a happily ever after. In the modern romance, true love seems to come with a heavy price.
Nonetheless, this Valentine’s, Alyne Experts have included 4 ways on how to make your virtual looking-for-love life work.
1. Do not share everything on your profile
Write your personal information in general but not in detail. Bring your conversation to a more private and secure platform to know each other better.
2. Check the location settings of your profile
Be careful of dating apps that track your live location. If your dating app displays the distance between you and a potential partner, the dating app is constantly tracking your location.
3. Do not be a victim of catfishing
Always set aside some time to ensure that your potential partner is real and authentic. One way to spot a fake identity is to do a reverse image search on Google to do a quick background check.
4. Install antivirus software on your smartphone
Having an antivirus app does not build a bulletproof shield for you. However, in most cases, it will notify you if there are any malicious activities or privacy breaches that are happening on your phone.
For our virtual cupids, Alyne would also like to extend our resources to ensure that you are up-to-date with best privacy and security practices and be compliant with the latest regulations such as European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and California Consumer Privacy Act of 2018 (CCPA).
Contact our team at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about how Alyne complements your organisation and can be leveraged to achieve greater maturity in your cyber resilience.