Cyber-security organisation Kaspersky Labs conducted a study presented in Business Tech on user-experience of dating apps – 6 458 of online dating users were surveyed in a 30-country study, with South Africa on the list.
We may have thought the reason for using dating apps is pretty obvious, but Kaspersky Labs reveals a more insidious motivation for the majority of users.
The stats give us some context into online dating culture. Whilst 31% of South Africans are still using apps like Tinder and OK Cupid as go-to sources for meeting potential suitors, others point to the problem of cyber-scammers, says Kaspersky.
According to the organisation, as little as 10% of users are actually on these dating apps to find forever partners. Thirteen percent are simply DTF, while 48% of users are in it for the LOLs.
Misinformation is a huge problem on dating apps. Sixty-two percent of South Africans admitted to lying on their profiles either as a means to an end by tweaking details to appear more desirable or to investigate cheating partners.
Overall, using these dating apps has created a problem symptomatic of how people are using technology to infiltrate spaces with wide reach. As the number of users with ulterior motives rises, 15% of users are ‘put off’ by fake profiles. Fourteen percent are dissatisfied with ‘fake relationship expectations’ as well as ‘dishonest relationship statuses’, says Kaspersky.
Apart from catfish luring unsuspecting victims online, 17% of people are concerned about their safety and security when it comes to cyber-scammers infecting their devices with ‘malware, spyware, or ransomware’. What goes around comes around, and Kaspersky found that 14% of users who use their profiles for ill intentions make up a large portion of those who have their software infected with malware.
So how do we protect ourselves from the type of unwanted attention that comes from surfing apps like Tinder? According to Kaspersky, 36% of users create bulletproof passwords. Twenty-seven percent use a ‘security solution’ such as anti-virus software to ward off potential dangers. Other measures include sharing limited information (33%); allowing limited access to contacts, social media and accounts (21%); and reporting fishy behaviour to the app.