NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Are you looking for love this Valentine’s Day?

As CBS2’s Tracee Carrasco reported, there is a new warning that could leave dating app users heartbroken.

“I went on just one Tinder date,” said Kelly Geiling. “I met a guy for drinks and that was it.”

Many people are looking for love, and like Geiling, many turn to dating apps on their smartphones hoping to find it.

“I went through to try and find, like, a normal person,” Geiling said.

But now, daters need to worry about more than just finding a normal person. Hackers could be getting a hold of their personal information.

“I’m concerned that I never thought about that,” Geiling said.

According to new research from IBM Security, 60 percent of dating apps on mobile devices have security flaws that could allow a hacker to break in, install a virus on your phone — even steal a credit card or personal information.

“Your contacts list; it could be your stored images, or your pictures. They can actually also potentially access features on the device – so your camera, your microphone, even your GPS location,” said Michael Monticello, security intelligence director of IBM Security Services.

IBM Security found that 26 out of 41 dating apps that were tested put users at risk to hackers.

The first step in protecting yourself is not to share too much information, and also, Monitcello said, “understanding if there is a configuration or how your app actually works is pretty important.”

Also, you are advised always to make sure you use a trusted wi-fi connection.

IBM Security doesn’t want to discourage people from using dating apps to find love, but just wants to make sure people are aware of these security risks.


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