- S2 Grupo has warned that the boom in these apps has led to the presence of cyber-criminals who are mainly looking to: steal photographs, extort money or make a profit.
- The cybersecurity company has indicated that we must be very careful when sharing any private information or photographs through these environments because we lose power over them.
Valencia, July 9, 2020 – The use of dating apps has exploded in recent years among both young people and adults. The cyber security company S2 Grupo has warned that this has led to an increase in cyber-crime in these environments and the introduction of cyber risks.
“If it used to be weird to flirt on the Internet, now it’s almost strange not to. And, of course, there’s no problem with that. We just have to keep in mind that in any area where technology is implemented, there is a possibility of cybercrime creeping in. And this requires that we use these dating applications responsibly, knowing that everything we share or post on them could become public domain information. There is only one step between sexting and sextorsion“, explained José Rosell, managing partner of S2 Grupo.
“These applications are not only used by people who want to date. They are also used for other purposes such as getting photographs or even extorting money from victims. Others manage to build up a relationship of trust and bonding with a person so that, when they let their guard down, they can obtain some financial benefit or directly ask for money“, warned Miguel A. Juan, managing partner of S2 Grupo.9
These are some of the most common cyber risks in dating applications:
1.- Going from sexting to sextorsion. Although the first contact is usually through text messages in the apps themselves, it is soon followed by communication through other platforms such as Whatsapp, Instagram or Snapchat. The aim is usually to send risqué photos, the well-known “sexting” or, as young people say, “make nudes”. S2 Grupo has pointed out that this is a high-risk practice whether it is done with someone you trust (in the future we don’t know what relationship we will have) and, even more so, with a stranger. “We have to take into account that many profiles are false and have been created precisely to obtain photos of this type and then blackmail in some way. This is how you go from sexting to sextorsion”, José Rosell pointed out.
2.- A date with a stranger – Beyond being the victim of a scam or economic blackmail, one of the most serious dangers is that the alleged aggressor wants to meet the victim in person. Therefore, it is recommended not to give information to people, not to send photographs and, if there is an appointment, to do so in a public place.
3.- Do not verify the “reality” of the person – It is very important to use applications such as Tineye.com or Google Images to check that the images of the person we are talking to are real and to verify that they do not correspond to a false profile.
4.- Gaining trust to ask for money – This practice is also one of the most frequent. It consists of creating a great relationship of intimacy and, when trust is already achieved, alluding to an illness, a problem from the past or similar, for which money is required and then the victim is asked. Of course, it is always argued that it will be returned, but this is not the case and it usually disappears.
5.- Malware distribution – “We must not forget that many times cyber-criminals hide under attractive profiles in order to be the ones who, with the excuse of sending photos, sneak malware that infects victims’ computers or install spyware, for example, to know their passwords, bank details, conversations, etc.”, said Miguel A. Juan.