Risky business: The dangers of online dating and how to protect yourself
It looks like you've previously blocked notifications. Please update your browser permissions to allow them. But it's just the latest sign that Internet users looking for love online -- or just hoping to hook up -- face privacy and security risks they might not expect. The hack, first reported on by British outlet Channel 4 News last week, reportedly resulted in the information of nearly 4 million members of Adult FriendFinder leaking onto an online forum frequented by hackers.
Even being revealed as a member of Adult FriendFinder might be embarrassment enough for some: The site is, as its name suggests, "adult" in nature. Don't visit it on your work computer. Using the Internet for love, or at least sex, is a becoming a staple of modern life. More than one in five Americans between ages 25 and 35 have used an online dating site or app according to Pew Research. And while Adult FriendFinder is on one extreme of the dating site social experiment digital romance market, the whole sector is based on information about users' most intimate desires.
Mainstream site OKCupid, for instance, asks users to fill out quizzes that cover everything from their sexual proclivities to drug habits. It risks wholesale exposure of information in an era when it is basically impossible to put the data genie back in the bottle. What users should really take away from the incident is that the privacy of the information they share with these sites is only as good as their security practices. And, unfortunately, there's evidence that Adult FriendFinder isn't the only site that has issues in that department.
Just last month, Ars reported that Match. Unfortunately, consumers don't have a lot of options for evaluating the security of dating services, according to Jonathan Mayer, a computer scientist and lawyer affiliated with Stanford's Center for Internet and Society. And the explosion of services in the market means that start-ups may not be putting users' privacy first.
Meet two police officers who followed risks with online dating. Mayer is also concerned about the trend of using logins for other social networks in dating apps. Instead of having users pull out a complete profile, they ask them to risks with online dating with their Facebook or LinkedIn pages -- pulling pictures or text to prepopulate their account.
But that could mean even bigger problems if a breach occurs, Mayer said. Online daters also risks with online dating another risk: An FBI report released earlier this year showed that "confidence fraud and romance" scams are a major vector for online fraud. One recent academic study of a Chinese dating site found scammers resorting to some pretty creative methods.
One scheme involved building up an online relationship with a victim before convincing the person to buy an expensive flower basket as a sign of commitment -- the fraudster then got a cut from the florist. Pop culture is side-hugging courtship hello. Tinder is not so gentle with matchmaking prices for older users. SuperFan badge holders consistently post smart, timely comments about Washington area sports and risks with online dating.
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But it also comes with new risks. By Andrea Peterson By Andrea Peterson May 26, Follow kansasalps. Andrea Peterson covers technology policy for The Washington Post, with an emphasis on cybersecurity, consumer privacy, transparency, surveillance and open government. Leaf Page Test - Wed Jun 14 Had this been an actual emergency, you would have been instructed where to tune on your radio dial. You must be logged in to report a comment.
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