Despite around one-in-three (31%) of people in South Africa using online dating services and apps, not everyone enjoys a positive experience, having to fend off threats including fake profiles and cyber-scammers, says Kaspersky Lab.
The latest research from Kaspersky Lab suggests that people looking for “the one” online might be disappointed – many have come across fake information and photos, malicious links, scammers trying to extort information from them, or other people lying about what they are looking for in a relationship.
The research found that those searching for their soulmate on online dating platforms – such as the likes of Tinder, Bumble, OK Cupid, Badoo and more – are in the minority, with just 10% locally using online dating to actually find a marriage partner.
That’s compared to half (50%) of online dating users doing it for fun, and 19% simply looking for sex.
The report outlined the responses of 6,458 online dating users from 30 of the countries survey, including South Africa.
People that date online are most likely to be:
- 33.8 years old on average
- Working full-time (63%)
- Slightly more likely to be male than female (39% of men date online vs 25% of women)
- Device-savvy – they have around 5 mobile devices compared to the usual 3 per household
- They are most likely to work as medium-level managers (20%) or be highly qualified specialists such as scientific workers, teachers and engineers (19%)
Kaspersky Lab warned that the online dating world is also rife with false information – something that may cause yet more problems for those actually looking for love.
Over half (62%) of people locally admitted to lying while dating online – faking information to make themselves look better than they do in real-life, or even to try and catch their partners cheating.
The proliferation of fake data is a big turn-off for people using online dating services, with one-in-five (15%) stating they are being put-off online dating by false photos, and one-in-ten being put-off by the fake relationship expectations (14%) and dishonest relationship statuses (14%) they come across.
While being turned-off by fake information, people around the world are also being put-off from using online dating by threats to their online security – 17% name such factors as encountering scammers that try to extort personal or financial information from them or being sent malicious links or malware that infects their device.
When it comes to facing these threats, those who ‘fake it’ online are more likely to have their security compromised – e.g., 14% of those that share false information have had their device infected with malware, spyware or ransomware via an online dating platform, compared to 11% of those that don’t share false information.