Have you been doxed? Survey looks at exposure of personal data in online dating


Posted at Jul 30 2021 01:03 PM

Have you been doxed? Survey looks at exposure of personal data in online dating 1

MANILA -- Cybersecurity company Kaspersky has released the results of a survey that looks at doxing -- or the gathering and public exposure of personal data -- which usually happens during virtual matchmaking. 

It covered more than 18,000 respondents, including 2,242 from the Asia Pacific region. 

The survey showed that every sixth of 10 users has been doxed while dating online globally. 

In Asia Pacific, 22% of respondents admitted to have experienced doxing. Of the number, 14% said it happened while dating online, but were at the time unfamiliar with the act.

More than 64% from the region said apps have made dating easier for them, while 65% expressed concern with potentially being stalked by someone they met online, which is one of the consequences of doxing. 

"Indeed, social media and various apps have made dating much easier for us. You might find the love of your life online but unfortunately, there are also bots and fraudsters looking for prey on dating platforms," Kaspersky security expert Anna Larkina said in a statement. 

"That is why while communicating with someone online, it is still important to remember the basic rules of digital privacy," she added.

According to Kaspersky, oversharing personal information in dating apps and social media can be picked up by doxers, and could lead to big problems in the future.

It noted that 49% of Asia Pacific respondents admitted that their partner shared screenshots of their conversation online without their consent, threatened them with personal information they found on the Internet, leaked their intimate photos, or stalked them in real life. 

On the other hand, 19% said they have been stalked on social media by a person they did not match with. 

"To date online safely, I recommend not sharing personal identifying information, such as your phone number, location, home, and work address, etc. Preventing threats at such an early stage will let you enjoy online dating without any fears," Larkina said. 

Meanwhile, Kaspersky gave the following tips to avoid doxing and keep personal information protected: 

- Always check permission settings on the apps you use to minimize the likelihood of your data being shared or stored by third parties without your knowledge

- Use two-factor authentication

- Use a reliable security solution like password managers

- Find out if any of the passwords you use to access your online accounts have been compromised by using security tools

- Always consider how the content you share online might be interpreted and used by others

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