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This Valentine’s Day, keep yourself secure while dating online

Valentine's Day 2017 is here, and if you're exploring online dating today, then here are security tips to keep in mind

By: Tech Desk | Updated: February 14, 2017 3:17:13 pm
Valentines Day, Valentines Day 2017, Valentine's Day 2017, online dating, Online Dating, Online Dating safety, Norton Online Day tips, Online dating India, Tinder, Truly Madly, social media, technology, technology news Valentine’s Day 2017 is here, and if you’re exploring online dating today, then here are security tips to keep in mind

Valentine’s Day 2017 is here, and if you’re feeling miserable and have finally given into the lure of online dating, you need to keep your cyber-security in mind. Today cyber criminals will be looking to cash in on your love hunt with their fake apps centred around V-Day-themed content. The list includes topics like horoscope compatibility tests, greetings and games.

Interestingly, Norton’s Mobile Survey shows over 59 per cent of Indian online daters faced a security problem thanks to some online dating service on their mobile phones. While people might uninstall these ‘love-themed’ apps within a month, according to Norton, today’s a good day for cyber criminals to catch some gullible folks.

When installing any dating or Valentine’s Day related app, be sure to read the reviews, check who the developer is before hitting download. If the developer website doesn’t open, best to avoid it.

Norton’s own survey shows 38 per cent of consumers admitting to have used online dating apps. Not surprisingly 64 per cent of women using the online dating apps experienced a security-related problem; only 54 per cent men faces such issues. Norton has come up with some tips for online dating this year, and here’s a quick look at things to keep in mind.

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First up, ignore individuals contacting you with a sob story, asking for money. Seriously anyone begging for money on Valentine’s Day need to be blocked. Norton also recommends reporting them to the dating service.

Anyone not offering a recent photo on an online dating app should also be avoided. The idea: Be safe, rather than sorry.

Strict no-no to webcam chat, especially if this is someone new, and the person is asking for nudes, etc. Remember someone can record a webcam session, and they can use it to blackmail you. Black Mirror has an excellent episode around that as well, so you can just watch that instead.

Don’t click on links that a newcomer sends via chats. These links could lead to porn or webcam sites, and sometimes can even malicious sites that can install malware onto your computer.

Also read: Valentine’s Day: Top offers from Apple, Samsung, Motorola and Xiaomi

Norton also points out how scammers create fake profiles run by bots, to get you to click on a link to carry out phishing attacks. “If you notice that the conversation you’re having seems a bit off, or the person isn’t answering your questions directly, chances are it’s a bot,” says Norton.

Setting up your profile

If you’ve decided to take the plunge into online dating today of all days, then you need to keep the basics in mind. Password needs to be strong for the dating account, and can’t be the same as the one for your Gmail or Facebook.

Of course, don’t share the account password for whatever app dating app you are using, not even with the person you’ve matched with. It is NOT a sign of true love to swap passwords.

Stick with the more well-known dating sites or apps; today is not the time to try out a new dating app that someone in office recommended. Though of course, none of this is a guarantee you’ll actually find someone interesting or sensible.

Norton is also recommending you check the privacy and data policy of whichever dating site you decide to sign up for. “Make sure you check the site’s privacy policy and verify how data with these accounts are handled,” says the security firm. In some cases, dating profiles are public and can be indexed by search engines.

Finally if all else fails on Valentine’s Day, and you don’t get a single swipe, remember there’s always ice-cream and Netflix or Amazon Prime Video. Or whatever else you watch.

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