On the eve of Valentine’s Day, millions of loved-up Brits have admitted they want their online dating past deleted from the Internet, with some even prepared to give up sex to do so.
One in four (25%) surveyed by cybersecurity company NordVPN said they wanted no trace of their dating past available on the web, while 22% were concerned that hackers could get hold of information about their sex life.
And, in a bid to make a clean break from their emotional baggage, one in eight (12%) even said they were prepared to give up sex in exchange for having their online presence removed.
The news comes as more than a third of Brits (37%) feel that dating apps should not share information with third parties – with one in eight (13%) who have used them revealing that they found it hard to delete their account.
An estimated 20 million adults in the UK have an online dating profile or have used one in the past.
According to visitor figures, the world’s most popular dating site is Badoo.com (pictured), which has more than 100 million monthly visits on average, followed by Tinder and Plenty of Fish.
Developer information from the Badoo mobile app shows that user IDs, approximate location, phone number and app activity can all be collected for marketing purposes.
Of those surveyed who have dated online, one in six (16%) reported receiving more spam emails after signing up for a dating app.
NordVPN’s research also showed that 2.5 million Brits have been the victim of romance or phishing scams while looking for love.
NordVPN chief technology officer Marijus Briedis said: “With millions of people looking for love online and sharing their lives on social media, romantic baggage now usually comes with a digital footprint.
“This research reveals just how much people are concerned about their information being available on the web and the possibility of being found — or exploited — by others.
“It’s important to remember when registering with a company’s dating app or website that each swipe left or right typically comes at a cost. Even if you’re not paying a subscription fee there is usually a trade-off where you are consenting to share some personal data in exchange for using their service.
“And whether you’re on a dating site or not, good online habits are vital to safeguard your data and stay safe online. Using more sophisticated passwords, anti-virus tools and virtual private networks will drastically reduce your chances of being targeted by cybercriminals.”
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