IET sites Welcome Your IET account Search E&T Search Toggle navigation Menu E&T logo Valentine’s Day dating in love Online dating accounts subject to heartbreaking hacks By the editors of E&T Published Wednesday, February 10, 2021 In the run-up to Valentine’s Day this weekend, an investigation found that 18 percent of people using dating apps have had their accounts hacked, with 16-25 year olds particularly vulnerable to the practice.
In a survey conducted by antivirus company McAfee, 65 percent of Britons expanded their online social activities, including online dating, in the past year following the advent of Covid-19-induced lockdowns.
About 86 percent of respondents said they don’t feel safe online dating, and 60 percent say they are aware that the information and images they share on social media could be used against them. Fake dating profiles were also cited as a concern, with 30 percent of men surveyed saying they had come across a fake dating profile online.
Of those surveyed who said they had been hacked, about two in five said they were emotionally blackmailed as a result, while 27 percent said they were extorted for money and 23 percent said their identities had been stolen.
Raj Samani, McAfee’s chief scientist, said people need to think more carefully about the information they share online, especially on dating platforms.
“Every day, people leave streams of information about themselves online without considering the risks associated with their digital footprint,” he said. “Our research shows how easy it is for someone to find personal, sensitive information about someone else online, some of which could be used to the detriment of the person.
““If this information ends up in the wrong hands, it can be used to paint a detailed picture of someone and provide direct access to their life.
This data hints at the scary repercussions that sharing too much information online can have if it ends up in the wrong hands, and the consequences could be worse if it ends up in the hands of online criminals.
By limiting who can see personal information, such as your date of birth or photos of yourself or your home, you ensure that only people you know and trust have access to details that could compromise your identity and be used by online criminals to engage in fraudulent activity.
”In addition to dating apps, nearly all respondents admitted looking for a date or ex-partner on social media or Google Search. 69 percent admitted looking around their potential love interest or their current partner’s social media, and another 29 percent used Google searches to check for a possible date.