When discreet online dating website Ashley Madison suffered a data breach in summer of 2015, it may have been the most sensational example of online matchmaking leading to privacy violations, but unfortunately, it’s not the only one.
According to UK-based online dating company dm³ Ltd., more than half a billion online dating accounts have been breached, and that’s just the ones we know about. The problem is that online dating websites serve as big, juicy targets for malicious actors seeking to get their hands on tons of personal data. Their hope is they can use that data to execute identity theft, accessing bank accounts and lines of credit that could be worth money on the black market.
Considering what information you really need to share in online dating sites is one thing. Which site you’d use is another issue. Reading those tedious terms of service might be wise when you’re about to get intimate with an online dating service of your choice. Look out for policies around account deletion – when you do decide it’s time for a clean break, you don’t want to feel trapped in the relationship with your online dating site. Also keep an eye on how the site stores passwords and whether the site would ever actually be authorized to send a message on your behalf!
dm³ Ltd. provides this infographic to keep you safe out there in the world of online dating: