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Love Online Dating or Love Your Identity?

Yes, you read it right. Dating is hard, and the additional stress of worrying about your online privacy adds up to the pain. However, social media and dating apps are inescapably tangled in romance these days making it a shame that plenty of them have had security gaps in such a little time.

Within few days of each other this week, the dating apps like OkCupid, Coffee Meets Bagel, and Jack’d all exposed an array of security incidents that serve as a critical reminder of the fact that digital profiles both store your personal information and introduce you to total strangers.

“Dating sites by default share a huge chunk of personal as well as professional information about you; despite that, there’s a limit to what should be shared,” says David Kennedy, CEO of the threat tracking firm Binary Defense Systems. “And in many Cases
these dating sites provide little to no security.”

The Trio Hack

OkCupid:

OkCupid came under the radar this week after TechCrunch reported on Sunday that users are dealing with a rise in hackers taking over accounts and then changing the account email address and password. Once this modulation has happened, it’s difficult for authentic account owners to regain control of their profiles.

They then use those stolen identities for scams or harassment. Multiple people who already dealt with this situation recently told TechCrunch that it was difficult to work with OkCupid to resolve the situations.

OkCupid is inexorable that the hacks aren’t a result of a data breach or security lapse at the dating service itself. Instead, the takeovers are the result of customers reusing passwords that have been breached elsewhere.

“All websites unceasingly experience account takeover attempts, and there hasn’t been an increase in account takeovers on OkCupid,” a company representative said in a statement.

When questioned on whether the company plans to add 2FA(2 Factor Authentication) to its service?
Reply:  “OkCupid is already looking into ways to integrate high-level security in our products. We commit to continue to add options to secure accounts.”

Coffee Meets Bagel:

Coffee Meets Bagel also suffered an actual breach last week, although a relatively minor one. The company proclaimed on Valentine’s Day that it had identified unauthorized access to the systems exposing a list of users’ email addresses and names.

The company claimed that No passwords or other personal data were exposed. Coffee Meets Bagel claims it is administering a thorough review following the incident, and that it is assisting with law enforcement to investigate further.

The situation doesn’t significantly pose an immediate threat to users, but still creates risk, hackers can collect this information for all sorts of scams and attacks. Popular dating sites already publicly expose plenty of personal user data by their nature.

Jack’d

Jack’d, a location-based dating app, which suffered the most devastating incident of the three, as reported by Ars Technica. This service has more than a million downloads on Google Play and maintains five million users overall.

The hack is claimed to have exposed all photos on the site, including those marked as “private,” to the open internet. The issue arose from a misconfigured Amazon Web Services data repository. Other user information, including location data, was also exposed due to the mistake.

Moreover, anyone could have hijacked all of that data, because the Jack’d application was configured to fetch photos from the cloud system over an unencrypted connection.

The company claimed to have fixed the bug on February 7, but according to Ars reports, it took a year from when a security researcher originally published the flaw to Jack’d. Mark Girolamo, the CEO of Jack’d maker Online-Buddies stated in a statement that “Jack’d undertakes the privacy and security very seriously, and is also grateful to the researchers who alarmed us to this issue.”

Who’s Next?

Are you the next target? I guess finding a partner offline is more romantic and safe as well. You will feel less exposed, and none of your credentials going to blew. So, Choose wisely Live well. Drop your thoughts below in the comments section and let us know your opinions.

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