In case you are venturing out in the virtual world to meet friends on the eve of Valentine’s Day, you ought to be careful.
Cyber criminals can spoil the day by luring you into sharing your personal information and cash in on that. You should not entertain requests for money transfers. You shouldn’t give in to requests for app downloads and phone numbers.
Bots and crooks look for prey on dating platforms, warn cyber security experts.
“The more data you give away and the more eagerly you participate in the platforms’ activities, the easier it is for those malicious elements to succeed,” cyber security solutions firm Kaspersky has said.
Kaspersky has also given a list of Dos and DON’Ts to keep your information safe, while filling up your profiles on platforms like Tinder.
When you are uploading photos, you should choose those that don’t give away unnecessary information such as your address and other coordinates like where you work.
“Choose photos from trips or of landmarks, with no personal data and no other people. You must choose photos that don’t appear anywhere else as some people can use pictures to locate your social media profiles,” it said.
It also asks people not to reveal their full names and don’t indicate hints to their social media profiles as they can reveal more information about them.
“You should not leave your phone number anywhere. Dating apps strongly recommend sticking with their built-in message platforms, and it is wise to do so until you are sure you can trust the person you’re chatting with,” it points out.
How to communicate safely
While engaging in conversations, one should not narrate the whole story about one’s life. Before telling your ‘match’ something, consider how you would feel if it became totally public.
“If you aren’t comfortable with that, keep it to yourself for now,” it says.
“The person you’re talking to may be every bit as kind and understanding as they seem, but they could also be a crook who has taken on someone else’s persona. Crooks commonly build trust before asking for money or information,” it warns.
If someone asks for money, remember that it is a red flag. If they ask for money, cut off communications.
“If your match asks you to install an app on your phone or to visit a certain website, or starts asking questions about, say, your favorite teacher or your first pet (common website security questions),” it cautions.
Here’s the catch: The app may be malicious, the website may be a phishing page, and the information can help someone steal your money or identity.