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Matching up to danger People tend to share their information even more willingly with matches and it doesn’t take long for online daters to be persuaded to part with personal information about themselves, such as their home address or phone number.
People are more likely to give up information to those they have been ‘matched’ with in the online dating world – 16% give out personal details to matches, 15% tell matches embarrassing things about themselves and 14% provide their matches with private or unclothed photos of themselves.
That, of course, is not always a safe or a good thing.While many different types of people go online to date – and they do it for multiple reasons, our study also asked people about what they get up to when they are dating online, in order to understand the potential security implications. We found that a worrying number of online dating users are, through their profiles, placing sensitive information about themselves into the public domain, which could potentially lead them to harm if the information was to fall into the wrong hands.It’s all in the profile The profile is understandably a crucial part of online dating. It acts as a window, or a preview of a person, enticing others to reach out to them or find out more. For example, one-in-ten online dating users have shared their full home address publicly on their profile, have shared details about their work/ trade secrets, or personal details about their family in this way.Are online daters giving away too much about themselves?Are they, through online dating, exposing themselves and their devices to malicious people – or indeed malware – all too easily?
Testament to this fact, when Pew Research Centre first questioned Americans about online dating in 2005, just 44% said the activity is a good way to meet people, and the majority thought it was a poor replacement for striking up relationships in the ‘real’ world.