This Is Why You Shouldn't Use A Dating App On A Company Device

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Call me crazy, but part of me says this is just basic common sense. If a company gives you a device, it's for work. It's not for surfing BuzzFeed, uploading pictures of your cat to Instagram, or looking for Saturday night plans on a dating app.

But let's get real. That's an idealized world we don't live in. If someone gives us a device, we're going to do whatever we want on it (but maybe in Incognito mode). That goes for the listicles, the cat snaps, and the dating apps.

You may think it's no big deal, as long as your boss isn't looking over your shoulder, but a new study by IBM may change your mind. The study found that employees who use dating apps on their company’s smartphone or tablet risk exposing themselves to major security threats. We're talking hacking, spying, data theft – all kinds of big scary things you don't want to have to explain to your supervisor.

Researchers analyzed 41 dating applications and found that 60% were potentially vulnerable to cyberattacks that put personal or corporate data at risk. Many apps have access to additional features on mobile devices, such as the camera, microphone, storage, GPS location and mobile wallet billing information. IBM also found that nearly 50% of the organizations they reviewed had at least one popular dating app installed on mobile devices used to access business information.

Hello, hacker jackpot.

The potential vulnerabilities include:

  • Downloading malware onto your device through your dating app
  • GPS location information being used to track your movements
  • Your credit card numbers being stolen through the app
  • Remote control of your phone's camera or microphone
  • Hijacking the content or images of your dating profile

Using your personal phone for work purposes (known as “bring your own device” or BYOD) can also pose a problem. “The trouble with BYOD is that, if not managed properly, the organizations might be leaking sensitive corporate data via employee-owned devices,” the report said.

To protect yourself against dating app hacks, avoid divulging too much info in public on your profile. Be sure to check an app's permissions before you download it, so you know what it has access to. Use unique passwords for every account you have, and only connect trusted Wi-Fi networks.

Finally, always apply the latest updates to your apps and device when they become available. This will fix any bugs that have been identified in your device and applications, resulting in a more secure experience.