United states online dating statistics
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.
However, there is a disparity between men and women.
When it comes to personal information, men are ready to share information about themselves much faster than women are.
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?
However, with so many people turning to online dating for such a variety of reasons, it’s clear that the activity is literally allowing people to carry their relationships around with them wherever they go. For example, men are much more likely than women to use online dating for sex (18% vs 5%), whereas men and women are equally as likely to be looking for new friends.
Is the profile crucial to the success of online dating? Many share photos of themselves or their loved ones this way – 15% using online dating have shared photos of their family publicly by displaying them on their profile and 17% have shared photos of their friends.
Even more worryingly, one-in-ten (9%) have even shared intimate photos of themselves publicly on their profile, literally exposing themselves to the danger of having their precious or sensitive images mistreated by total strangers.
All of this information, in the wrong hands, can be used to track online dating users and their families online and offline, to crack their accounts by guessing passwords, for blackmail, and more.
What’s more, this risky sharing happens faster than you might expect.