Featured Blogger: Christina Voors
Mobile dating apps can truly be a carefree form of fun. You simply swipe through people in your town, determine if you think you will click, and possibly pursue a longer relationship. As our society evolves alongside technology, we see increased rates of this behavior. In fact, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 35% of new marriages have started online.
With the growing trend of online dating, it is important that people are safe when engaging in this. Unfortunately, these apps stop feeling carefree once you learn about the risks that many of them impose.
An investigation run by WIRED looked at a number of popular iOS dating apps to check for any security issues. They found them. It turns out, a number of mobile apps have problems in how they secure data. Due to their security errors, they have been leaking information: identities, locations, pictures, and so forth. Due to the popularity of these apps, millions of people can be affected by this breach of trust.
WIRED is not the only one who looked into this issue. An analysis done by IBM found that nearly 60% of Android’s top dating apps are vulnerable to cyber attacks as well. These complications put our personal information at risk; allowing hackers to access past and present GPS location, gain access to our cameras and microphones, and gives them the ability to impersonate us. All of this can be accomplished when we are not even logged in.
The opportunity to meet people online should not be a risk in and of itself. It is the responsibility of the dating apps to ensure that their consumers are safe to use their product.
That is why apps such as Chekmate are so important. We need companies to pave the way towards security. While us consumers can behave in best practices such as the avoidance of revealing our phone numbers and similar information, dating apps need to protect us from having that information stolen without our consent.
As more opportunities become available to us online, we have a right to digital freedom and security. Meeting potential partners should not have the risk of having your GPS information hacked into, where they can see exactly where you live, work, and spend your time. There should be no risk of being off the app and having someone watch and record you through your device. And there should be no concern of having our identities used by someone else.
Personally, I don’t want to worry about this. There are enough stressors in this world. That is why when I look into the apps I download and use, I ensure that they have my best interest in mind. Security should be a top priority for these companies. It saddens me that this is not always the case, but I am grateful that it is with Chekmate.