Dating through the net

How we conduct our relationships is changing, and it’s clear that technology has a key part to play in this change.

People are now not only turning to their devices to work, shop, and play, but to manage their personal lives and relationships too. But with concerns rife following incidents such as the infamous Ashley Madison breach, and with the process inherently requiring users to share personal information, it’s important to consider the potential dangers involved.

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.

These findings suggest that there is still a degree of cynicism around the success of online dating, with people being twice as likely to look for ‘fun’ online, than love (a partner).

However, with so many people turning to online dating for such a variety of reasons, it’s clear that the activity is literally allowing people to carry their relationships around with them wherever they go. For example, men are much more likely than women to use online dating for sex (18% vs 5%), whereas men and women are equally as likely to be looking for new friends.

Giving out this information can mean that a relationship struck up online can enter the real world very quickly – with people going from being strangers, to being able to access an online dater’s home address or phoneline within a matter of minutes.

That, of course, is not always a safe or a good thing.

So, if one-in-three people out there are doing it, who is the typical online dater?Online dating provides users with the ideal place to meet people that have similar likes, dislikes and character traits to them.It improves the chances of a user actually liking the person they’re going to meet on a date (because they can search for people that meet certain criteria), and, if you believe the online dating services themselves, an increasing number of people are also now finding lasting and meaningful relationships online.To understand the topic better and to help users protect themselves when they are dating online, Kaspersky Lab has undertaken a study into people’s online dating habits. An online survey conducted by research firm B2B International and Kaspersky Lab in August 2017 assessed the attitudes of 21,081 users aged over 16 years old from 32 countries.This report outlines the responses of 6,458 online dating users from 30 of the countries surveyed (answers from respondents in China and the UAE have been excluded) regarding their online activity, including the types of devices they use, the kind of information they share, and any concerns they might have about online dating apps and services.

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