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And, 51% of online daters admit to using a device that they use for work to carry out their online dating activities, despite the fact that they may be putting confidential corporate data at risk by doing so. So why are these people going online to start up relationships with others?

Certainly, online dating provides all the convenience of making it quick and easy to meet people.

Digital technology, especially smart devices, have transformed many aspects of our society, including how people meet each other and establish relationships – romantic or otherwise.

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Testament to this fact, when Pew Research Centre first questioned Americans about online dating in 2005, just 44% said the activity is a good way to meet people, and the majority thought it was a poor replacement for striking up relationships in the ‘real’ world.

But the way we communicate, meet and express our love has changed dramatically since then, and when Pew Research Centre repeated the study ten years later, the number that considered online dating to be a good way of meeting people had grown to 59%.

While many different types of people go online to date – and they do it for multiple reasons, our study also asked people about what they get up to when they are dating online, in order to understand the potential security implications. We found that a worrying number of online dating users are, through their profiles, placing sensitive information about themselves into the public domain, which could potentially lead them to harm if the information was to fall into the wrong hands.

It’s all in the profile The profile is understandably a crucial part of online dating. It acts as a window, or a preview of a person, enticing others to reach out to them or find out more. For example, one-in-ten online dating users have shared their full home address publicly on their profile, have shared details about their work/ trade secrets, or personal details about their family in this way.

Data was weighted to be globally representative and consistent, split equally between men and women, and not all the results from the study have been included in this report.

To request further data please contact Kaspersky Lab at [email protected]

Considering all of this, perhaps it’s no surprise our study found that as many as 32% of Internet users are dating online.

So, if one-in-three people out there are doing it, who is the typical online dater?

Giving out this information can mean that a relationship struck up online can enter the real world very quickly – with people going from being strangers, to being able to access an online dater’s home address or phoneline within a matter of minutes.

That, of course, is not always a safe or a good thing.

Plus, it’s an activity that’s available across multiple devices, at all times of day and night.

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