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Study suggests dating apps are a danger for businesses

People using the same smartphones privately and for work are putting their company’s security at risk, a new study shows.

According to a study by IBM, millions of people are using company smartphones for dating sites and apps, and are exposing themselves - and their companies to theft, hacking and spying.

As IBM security researchers have said, 26 out of 41 dating apps on the Android platform analysed have shown medium to high vulnerabilities.

They didn’t want to name the apps, but they said they had notified the developers about the issues they found.

In nearly every other company sampled, employees use dating apps with serious vulnerability issues.

"The trouble with BYOD is that, if not managed properly, the organisations might be leaking sensitive corporate data via employee-owned devices," said the IBM report (opens in new tab).

IBM goes on to explain the dangers of using vulnerable apps: If an app is compromised, hackers can advantage of users waiting to hear back from their love interest to pull phishing schemes and get their hands on sensitive information.

Through a compromised app, the hackers can also turn on the phone’s camera, microphone, or even GPS, remotely.

While the devs have been notified, IBM urges users to be careful about the information they share, even on matchmaking sites.

Apps like Tinder, OkCupid and Match have become very popular in the past couple of years. A 2013 study by Pew Research Center says some 31 million Americans have used a dating site or app.

UPDATE: An IAC spokesman has issued a statement saying: “IBM tested IAC’s dating apps - including Match, OkCupid, and Tinder - and they were not among the apps found to exhibit the cited vulnerabilities. We are confident in the continuing security measures we take to make sure our products meet the highest security standards."

Sead Fadilpašić is a freelance tech writer and journalist with more than 17 years experience writing technology-focussed news, blogs, whitepapers, reviews, and ebooks. And his work has featured in online media outlets from all over the world, including Al Jazeera Balkans (where he was a Multimedia Journalist), Crypto News, TechRadar Pro, and IT Pro Portal, where he has written news and features for over five years. Sead's experience also includes writing for inbound marketing, where he creates technology-based content for clients from London to Singapore. Sead is a HubSpot-certified content creator.