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Kaspersky study shows almost half of users in APAC had privacy issues in online dating

Continuing the series of articles related to cybersecurity firm Kaspersky’s study on virtual matchmaking, it found that In Asia Pacific (APAC), 22% of the respondents admitted experiencing doxing, out of which, 14% were doxed while dating online but being unfamiliar with the notion of “doxing,” did not know they have fallen victims.

Kaspersky’s research also found out that more than half (64%) of respondents from the region admit that dating apps have made dating easier for them. However, 65% claim that they are concerned with potentially being stalked by someone they met online, which is one of the consequences of doxing.

“Indeed, social media and various apps have made dating much easier for us,” said Anna Larkina, security expert at Kaspersky. “You might find the love of your life online but unfortunately, there are also bots and fraudsters looking for prey on dating platforms. That is why while communicating with someone online, it is still important to remember the basic rules of digital privacy.”

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While sometimes it can’t be helped, oversharing of personal information on social media have made it easier for doxers to obtain these data which can be exploited whenever and however the doxers want. Kaspersky said doxers’ access to a target’s home address, place of work, name, phone number, etc. increases the risks of transferring threats from the online world to the physical one.

Cyberstalking

The Kaspersky research found almost half (49%) of respondents admit that, while communicating online, their partner shared screenshots of their conversation without their consent, threatened them with personal information they found online, leaked their intimate photos, or stalked them in real life, which is also a direct consequence of doxing.

The most widespread problem is cyberstalking wherein 19% of respondents admit that they have been stalked on social media by a person they did not match with.

“To date online safely, I recommend not sharing personal identifying information, such as your phone number, location, home, and work address, etc. Preventing threats at such an early stage will let you enjoy online dating without any fears,” Larkina said.

To keep your personal information protected, Kaspersky also recommends:

  • Handling private online data responsibly by following the tips from the Kaspersky “Definitive Checklist: how to protect your data online”
  • Always checking permission settings on the apps you use, to minimize the likelihood of your data being shared or stored by third parties – and beyond – without your knowledge
  • Using two-factor authentication. Remember that using an application that generates one-time codes is more secure than receiving the second factor via SMS. If you need additional security, invest in a hardware 2FA key
  • Using a reliable security solution like Kaspersky Password Manager to generate and secure unique passwords for every account, and resist the temptation to reuse the same one over and over again
  • Always considering how the content you share online might be interpreted and used by others

Finding out if any of the passwords you use to access your online accounts have been compromised, by using a tool such as Kaspersky Security Cloud. Its Account Check feature allows users to inspect their accounts for potential data leaks. If a leak is detected, Kaspersky Security Cloud provides information about the categories of data that may be publicly accessible, so that the individual affected can take appropriate action