Even though dating apps have grown in popularity in recent years, the pandemic has further accelerated that growth. And with that, the security risks also increase.
According to data company Apptopia, the best dating apps reached 1.5 million daily active users in 2021. The Statista site reveals that there are 234.1 million users of relationship platforms in the world in 2020, and that by 2021 this number is expected to increase to 276.9 million.
The popularity of these platforms in addition to people looking for a partner, also attracts criminals, who try to take advantage of the personal information that users expose in these services to choose your next target. A survey by the Threat Intelligence division of Check Point Software warns of the risks inherent in these applications.
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The study published by Check Point shows that the main risks observed on these platforms are as follows:
Beware of shared images
: The way digital relationships happen, sharing intimate photos, the infamous ânudes,â is a common practice among users of dating apps. However, it is good to be careful who this photo is sent to, as there are many instances where they are used as blackmail, both emotionally and financially. Stay smart;
A simple photograph can be the perfect bait to access a device. One of the best techniques used by cybercriminals in dating apps is to create an attractive profile that all victims would like to interact with, the famous âmatchâ. As the conversation progresses, they may host any type of cyber attack on files sent in the chat, like a photo, which may contain malware with spyware capable of obtaining passwords from the apps in the chat. the user ;
- Fake novel
: Although these cyber attacks are likely to target users of these applications, there are cases where a stranger could be the victim. Anyone holding another person’s data, documents or files can impersonate them by falsifying their identity. With social networks like Facebook, it’s even easier to get photos of real people. Never trust someone you meet on dating platforms right away;
: By joining the Dark Web, hundreds of hacked dating app profiles are available for purchase at a hefty price. In 234, a dating site was hacked and the data of 20 million users was stolen, some of whom had already unsubscribed from their services. The data included emails, passwords, and other personal account information that can be sold and used for subsequent phishing or malware attacks, among others.
: In dating apps, it is common for cybercriminals to create fake profiles with images and descriptions that grab the user’s attention. His “modus operandi” is to establish an interest in initiating a conversation with the victim, and over time to build a false image of a relationship, to then borrow money, with justification to travel to meet the person. . Once the amount is sent, they disappear, proving that this was just an illusion created by the crooks;
Tips to avoid falling into cybercrime in dating apps2024
The best way to stay safe in dating apps is to act very carefully and not trust the people you meet on the platforms. Check Point has prepared a list of tips to better protect you:
Never give confidential information to third parties
: Any user who requests sensitive information could be a cybercriminal. Never provide any personal data to dating app users because you never know what the real intentions of the person on the other side of the screen are;
- Don’t upload pictures or files to your devices: Most people have photos in these dating apps. Therefore, it is very important that they are only displayed in the app itself and not downloaded or stored, as there are ways to spread viruses through images. Do not put your cell phone or computer in danger;
Don’t trust, use common sense, and don’t be in a hurry: this is a basic premise, but sometimes the most obvious rule is the most useful. Try to know as much as possible about your âmatchâ before any more personal contact;
Check profiles on dating sites: One of the best precautions you can take is to pay attention to details and pay attention to newly created profiles and / or profiles with images that look like an advertisement. A good practice is to search for the person on other social networks, if you are in doubt as to their real existence.
With care, the experience in dating apps can be great. But remember, in real life and in digital, protect yourself.
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