International Business Machines or IBM found that most of the downloaded and accessed dating mobile apps pose risk on users’ personal information and corporate data. Out of the 41 dating apps that IBM studied, the company said 60 percent makes users and company vulnerable to hackers.
Many consumers use and trust their mobile phones for a variety of applications. It is this trust that gives hackers the opportunity to exploit vulnerabilities like the ones we found in these dating apps,” Vice president for IBM Security Caleb Barlow said in a statement.
IBM found that dating apps are used by hackers in downloading malware to users’ devices. Also, 73 percent of the 41 dating apps analyzed for the study have access to current and past GPS location information that hackers use to track movements of their targets. Forty-eight percent of the analyzed apps were also used by hackers to steal credit card information. All these vulnerabilities made it possible for hackers to use a phone’s camera or microphone as remote control to conduct hacking even if the victims were not logged into the dating apps. Worst, hackers can hijack dating profile that lead to cases of identity thefts.
“Consumers need to be careful not to reveal too much personal information on these sites as they look to build a relationship. Our research demonstrates that some users may be engaged in a dangerous tradeoff – with increased sharing resulting in decreased personal security and privacy,” Barlow stated.
IBM is also advising for corporations and businesses to protect themselves from these shady dating apps. This advice is especially necessary for corporations that employ Bring Your Own Device or BYOD among their staff.
IBM is advising for corporations to protect their systems and assets from hackers through adopting the right protection such as Leverage Enterprise Mobility Management with Mobile Threat Management. Companies should also only allow its employees to download applications from authorized app stores such as Google Play, iTunes and the corporate app store. It will also be important for businesses to educate their employees about the hazards of downloading third party applications and consequences of granting permission to download shady apps. Corporations should also consider setting automated immediate action on smartphones and tablets in any event that devices were found to be compromised.