Dating apps are entrusted with our innermost secrets. A part of our daily lives, while some seek their ideal life partners, the others are all game for some casual hookups and one-night stands.  Be it Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Happn or WeChat or social apps, these apps have seen an increase in enrollment as people have nowhere to go during this pandemic.These dating apps are a privy of intimate things, including the flirtatious texts and even the occasional exchange of nude photos.

Dating and social media apps encourage sharing of personal information as compared to conventional social media apps. The continuous exchange of information has highlighted the privacy risks inherent in using these apps.

Security Issues

  • Active location broadcast on dating and social media apps raised regarding the safety of the users. With necessary location data, it is possible to determine the users’ address, track their movements, and so on. This can cause anxiety amongst users as people have reported of being stalked by unknown individuals.
  • Dating and social media apps have also, in the past, being used to carry out targeted robbery and sexual assault on women
  • According to study conducted by Kaspersky, four of the nine apps that were investigated allowed potential criminals to learn the real name of the person using a nickname on a dating app. “For example, Tinder, Happn, and Bumble let anyone see a user’s specified place of work or study. Using this information, it’s possible to find their social media accounts and discover their real names. Happn, in particular, uses Facebook accounts for data exchange with the server. With minimal effort, anyone can find out the names and surnames of Happn users and other info from their Facebook profiles.”
  • Dating apps like Tinder, Bumble for Android demand users to upload photos via HTTP, which makes it way easier for the attacker to find out which profiles their potential victim is browsing. Also, the Android versions of some of the apps leak the GPS data and device info, which can prove quite risky.
  • Most social and dating apps are vulnerable to MITM attacks as the authenticity of the certificates is not verified. This gives criminals an easy way into some of the some of the victim’s social media account data along with full access to theprofile on the dating app.

While many dating apps do not handle users’ sensitive data with sufficient care, to ensure security, Tinder is launching anew Photo Verification feature on its Indian platform. The feature uses human-assisted Artificial Intelligence to help users to self-authenticate via a series of real-time posed selfies. The uploaded selfies are laterequatedwith existing profile photos of the Tinder users to ensure authenticity.

Here are the steps you need to follow to verify your Tinder account:

  • Begin by opening the Tinder account, and then tap on the profile icon
  • Tap the gray checkmark by your name/age
  • Select ‘Verify your profile’
  • You will see a pose and will be requested to copy the pose by taking a selfie
  • Confirm that your selfie matches the pose and hit ‘Submit for review’
  • Repeat steps 4 and 5 one more time to ensure your profile is safe.

Simple security steps you can take to ensure safety

  • Never ever add your social media account details on your dating app
  • Try not to reveal your real name, surname, and avoid divulging your place of work, home address or street name
  • Stay away from disclosing your e-mail address, work or personal
  • Do not browse through social or dating apps on unprotected Wi-Fi networks

Be more cautious when exploring dating sites. The first step is to not divulge your personal credentials. While we would love for someone to woo you off the floor, it is best you take it sow.

Keep reading this space for more updates and information on social and dating sites.