Security

Business leaders oversharing on dating apps, putting companies at risk of cyberattack

Around 25% of business leaders are sharing too many details and trade secrets about their workplace on dating apps, new Kaspersky Lab research said.

Between oversharing about their job and workplace with dating matches and divulging trade secrets, 25% of business leaders using dating apps may be accidentally threatening their workplace's security, according to new research from Kaspersky Lab.

Over half of those on dating apps said they access those apps through their work device, but only 27% said they have a security solution in place to combat any security threats, the report said.

Of those using dating apps, 19% of business leaders have had their device infected via a dating app, including malware, spyware, or ransomware.

SEE: Security awareness and training policy (Tech Pro Research)

Outside of security threats, overindulging during conversations or on a profile could compromise workplace details as well. Of those in management roles, 22% of respondents said they shared their workplace on their profile, up from the 12% of the general online dating community.

In a similar jump, 24% of business leaders share details about their work on the apps, while only 10% of the general population do so.

The work-related bragging can lead to infected devices and corporate espionage if trade secrets fall into the wrong hands, the report said. If malware allows a match access to a work device, the attacker may have access to work documents stored on that device.

"The online dating game can be challenging enough without people falling victim to scammers or unwittingly putting their company at risk," said Vladimir Zapolyansky, head of SMB business at Kaspersky Lab, in the press release.

Business leaders should also be cautious when using a personal device for dating if they also use that device for work, the report found. Around one-third of business leaders using dating apps save work-related documents and emails to their personal phones.

SEE: ZDNet and TechRepublic special report: Cybersecurity in an IoT and mobile world (PDF)

To safeguard company secrets and devices, Zapolyansky recommends making sure devices are protected and their users are cautious when creating profiles or talking with matches about their jobs. Companies may want to develop policies regarding using dating apps on work devices and what company information can be shared.

An October Kaspersky Lab report found multiple security vulnerabilities in several popular dating apps, including Bumble, Tinder, and OkCupid. Outside of business leaders being vulnerable by simply looking for love, those using the apps for networking purposes could be in a more risky spot due to how much information they put on the app. For example, Bumble's businesses networking mode, found in the same app that has vulnerabilities, requires direct job titles and company names for users, putting them at additional risk.

The 3 big takeaways for TechRepublic readers

  1. One-quarter of business leaders using dating apps are oversharing company details or trade secrets, potentially threatening the company, according to Kaspersky Lab.
  2. Using a company device to access dating apps or using a personal device where work documents are stored can put companies in a vulnerable cybersecurity position, as hackers working through the apps may have easier access to additional workplace information.
  3. Sharing workplace details, either through profiles or conversations with matches, can increase the chance of information falling into the wrong hands, potentially leading to corporate espionage.

Also see

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Image: iStockphoto/SIphotography

About Olivia Krauth

Olivia Krauth is a Multiplatform Reporter at TechRepublic.

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