Safety

Grindr Security Flaw Exposes Users’ Restricted Profiles And Location Data

Safety
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Grindr Security Flaw

The dating app world has once again been hit with a privacy scandal. DC-based developer Trevor Faden revealed a sweeping security flaw in Grindr’s code, a glitch he says has the potential to expose sensitive information of more than 3 million daily users.

According to Faden, Grindr attaches a list of restricted profiles to each user’s account to prevent the app from displaying a profile after the user has blocked them. The list would normally remain invisible, but a loophole makes it possible to retrieve the list from Grindr’s code, thereby granting someone access to the names of every account that has blocked them.

Faden launched a website tool called C*ckBlocked that allowed users to retrieve their blocked lists by entering their Grindr username and password. Nearly 50,000 signed up, and once they did so, Faden was able to gain access to a cache of other personal information that is not publicly available on Grindr profiles, including unread messages, email addresses, deleted photos, and location data -- even for users who opted out of making their location public.

New Dating Apps Turning to Blockchain Technology

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Dating Apps using Block Chain

Blockchain technology has become a buzzword these days, thanks to the soaring popularity of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Now, new dating app companies are incorporating the same blockchain technology into their matching and verification processes to compete with big-name brands like Tinder.

There is a growing need for dating apps to address a persistent problem in online dating: lying and misrepresentation in dating profiles. Most dating apps use social media accounts as a way of verifying profiles, but this hasn’t curbed the proliferation of fake accounts and scammers. Blockchain technology is based in a democratic oversight of users, by users, to improve the overall experience.

Tinder changed the game for online dating, creating a mainstream acceptance of looking for love by swiping over a phone. A large part of the app’s success was gameifying the online dating process – look at a picture, and swipe left or right depending on whether or not you were interested. It was possible to go through dozens of profiles in seconds, making the swiping process more fun than pouring over dating profiles.

Could Hackers Spy on Your Tinder Account?

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Tinder Security
Image: wired

The next time you swipe right on a Tinder match when you’re sitting at a bar, consider that hackers might be taking notes.

Website MarketWatch reported that vulnerabilities were found in the popular app, exposing users to hackers. The vulnerability stems from Tinder not using encryption on users’ photos. Instead, they use a basic HTTP, an unsecure older protocol, rather than HTTPS. This means when you swipe, hackers have the ability to see not only profiles, but the actions you take with swiping, super-liking, and rejecting photos as well. Think of it as someone looking over your shoulder as you’re swiping.

Tech Times reported that users aren’t at risk of spies seeing their actions when they are swiping at home over a private Internet connection, but they are when using public WiFi networks.

New Dating App Hily Sets its Sights on Safer Dating

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Hily

Online dating has always held some risk, and in recent years, the challenge of protecting consumers from trolls and unwanted messages has increased. Many dating apps like Tinder are finding themselves at risk to hackers who are creating fake accounts and hacking other users - this in addition to increasing problems with lewd messages. A new dating app called Hily aims to change that trend.

Many dating apps are trying to put more safety measures in place to verify their users. According to an article in TechCrunch, cyber security researchers found that hackers could create a Chrome plugin so that a Tinder user could find the locations of Facebook friends who were also on Tinder (even though they didn’t disclose this information on their social media feeds), a scary thought for online daters who are trying to keep their personal information private.

The lack of security has been especially difficult for young women who use dating apps. More and more are reporting getting trolled or harassed by other users on online dating sites, or sent unwanted messages and photos. This is one of the reasons female-friendly apps like Bumble have become so popular – women have more control of their experience on the app. But verifying profiles has remained a challenge, as hackers have found ways around protections.

China Issues Stricter Guidelines For Dating Websites Following Entrepreneur’s Suicide

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Online Dating Guidelines in China

On September 7, Su Xiangmao, the 37-year-old multi-millionaire entrepreneur behind a Skype-like app called WePhone, jumped to his death from the 15th floor of his Beijing apartment building. He left digital suicide notes on Google Plus and Sina Weibo, as well as a disturbing welcoming message on WePhone: "Company owner is forced to death by his evil wife Zhai Xinxin, and the app will stop working." The message included Zhai's phone number and her national ID information.

Su’s notes told a tragic tale of marriage gone wrong. He met his 29-year-old ex-wife in March on Jiayuan.com, China’s largest online dating website, where both were VIP members with "verified" personal profiles. In the months that followed, Su spent 13 million yuan ($1.96 million) on Zhai, showering her with gifts like a Tesla Model X and a seaside apartment in South China's Hainan Province. They married in June.

One month later, they divorced. Su agreed to pay Zhai 10 million yuan as part of their settlement. If he failed to do so, he wrote, Zhai threatened to report his business, which operated in a legal grey area, and his tax evasion to police.

OkCupid Introduces Member Pledge To Curb The Scourge Of Dick Pics

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There must be something in the air. Not long after Tinder issued a statement asking users to remove their tiger photos, OkCupid has launched an attack on another infamous dating pest: the unsolicited dick pic.

The company took a stand against harassment and unwanted, sexually explicit messages in a blog entitled “Because You’re Better Than A Dick Pic.” The post announced a new OkCupid Member Pledge, which requires all users to agree not to send objectionable content before they are allowed to interact with the OkCupid community.

“While we rely in large part on our iconic questions to create potentially meaningful connections, it’s the people on either end of the app who ultimately have to cultivate a spark,” says OkCupid CEO Elie Seidman. “With the Member Pledge, we’re putting the power in our daters’ hands. This new feature reminds our members that, if you wouldn’t say it to someone you just met at a bar, you shouldn’t be saying it online.”