Dating apps have seen an absolute surge in activity over the recent years. It is not clear as to why the momentum has changed so much, but either way, people seem to be using dating apps more and more. In fact, you would be hard pressed to find a top ten app list anywhere that does not include at least one dating app. They really are massive business now. That said, with anything that is growing there are worries of security. Apps that become bigger, become more advanced, require more permissions and ergo become more vulnerable. This seems to be the case at the moment with dating apps.
A study in the latter part of last year by IBM found that a number of dating apps seem to have medium to severe security flaws in their system. Especially for those who have the app installed on a device which enters the workplace. Whether this is a work phone or just a BYOD phone, it seems having such apps installed could potentially pose some security flaws. In fact, according to the details, 60% of the major dating apps (26 of the 41 apps evaluated) all contained the same vulnerabilities. The same study apparently also reportedly noted that of all the companies they studied, half of those companies had at least one person working there who had these vulnerable apps installed on their device.
In terms of the actual vulnerabilities in question, the problems lie in the fact that these apps increasingly require access to a number of personal data permissions such as the microphone, cameras, storage and so on. Now, as this is a dating app, you would expect to be able to chat and take images, therefore the permissions themselves are understandable. That said, with so many people having these apps installed on devices in the workplace, it seems the likelihood of data theft is at an increased level. This does not, of course, mean they will be inevitably attacked or hacked, but what the report aims to do, is highlight that these apps are more of a ‘risk type’ app than others and especially when within a workplace environment. It is reported that IBM did contact the app developers in question and this was back in October of last year, As such they could have been updated or better protected since then. Although no confirmation by either IBM or the app developers confirms this. Either way, as our lives become more crossed-over in terms of data, it is probably wise to keep your work and personal lives (especially the dating aspect) a little bit more separated.