Almost every day, new dating apps for quick flirting or finding the love of your life are brought on to the market. The acces permission that these apps provide open the door to stalkers, malware and phishing attempts. Few users are aware of this.
Security experts at LeadingDatingSites.co.uk have tested ten dating apps for Android systems in the UK for potential risks, among them Tinder, Badoo, and eHarmony. The focus lies on all access permissions which must be granted in order to use the app. This includes in-app purchases, location, and access to photos, contacts and data. Dating app users are essentially "naked" in a digital security sense:-
80% of dating apps tested can access photos and other data on your smartphone.
70% of apps collect data about the location of smartphones and with that can create a complete map of where the users have been, including where they live, their employer and their hobbies.
20% of app investigated even allow for access to SMS contacts and can not only read text messages of the user but also do so without their knowledge.
"One scenario would be that unauthorised SMS orders are being made via your smartphone. And then you have, for example, a year's subscription for special cat food that you haven't ordered" explains Dirk Pflitsch of LeadingDatingSites.co.uk.