Work devices, whether computer or smartphone, are rarely used solely for work. They are crammed full of games, messengers, and even dating apps. Many modern businesses prefer to turn a blind eye to hobbies, so long as they do not interfere with the job. But in the case of dating apps in particular, it is not employee productivity that is most at risk. We carried out a study to identify the threats online dating can pose to businesses.
To begin with, more than half (51%) of users of dating sites and apps log in on the same laptops and phones they use for work. What’s more, 38% of respondents keep business correspondence, and 33% work documents, on such devices. That information could be of great interest to potential competitors or plain old cybercriminals.
If that’s not bad enough, add in the fact that users of dating services tend to be quite open. Among the tasty tidbits they fail to hide is where they work and what they do. Sometimes they deliberately advertise it in an attempt to impress a potential partner. Some 20% self-identify as middle managers, 19% as highly skilled workers (scientists, engineers), and 11% as top-level managers or business owners. This information greatly facilitates an attacker’s search for victims.
The new honey pot
Now for some more stats: 70% of all male users click on links they receive in private messages from attractive women. But those links can point anywhere, including phishing sites. How about this for an easy targeted attack? First, gain someone’s trust and flirt with him a bit, and then send a link to an “online photo album.”
Another risk factor is that mobile dating apps are rife with vulnerabilities. As our antivirus experts have shown, by no means do the most popular apps protect personal data. Some give away the user’s location, others offer a window into social media accounts. Some even allow intruders to intercept personal data and gain access to someone else’s account.
How to stay protected
As usual, there’s no silver bullet. The only thing we can say for sure is that bans aren’t 100% effective. They only push employees to search for ways to get around them. But we are absolutely certain that cybersecurity must be front of mind. People need to be taught about the latest online threats. Kaspersky Seсurity Awareness is here to help. This tailor-made program provides training, interactive games, and educational courses aimed at changing employees’ attitudes toward cybersecurity and delivering the skills they need to be protected against real threats.
And just in case, here’s a gentle reminder not to forget about security solutions. That includes ones for mobile devices (now the most popular platform for dating apps). Our multiplatform solutions for corporate information systems include Kaspersky Security for Mobile, which provides multilevel protection for employees’ devices.