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.Plus, it’s an activity that’s available across multiple devices, at all times of day and night.Our study asked people why they turn to online dating and while half (48%) said they mostly use online dating for fun, other reasons were also evident, with some saying they are looking for more meaningful relationships, and around one-in-ten simply looking for sex (13%).And, 51% of online daters admit to using a device that they use for work to carry out their online dating activities, despite the fact that they may be putting confidential corporate data at risk by doing so. So why are these people going online to start up relationships with others?Certainly, online dating provides all the convenience of making it quick and easy to meet people.However, there is a disparity between men and women.
That, of course, is not always a safe or a good thing.These findings suggest that there is still a degree of cynicism around the success of online dating, with people being twice as likely to look for ‘fun’ online, than love (a partner).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.How we conduct our relationships is changing, and it’s clear that technology has a key part to play in this change.People are now not only turning to their devices to work, shop, and play, but to manage their personal lives and relationships too. But with concerns rife following incidents such as the infamous Ashley Madison breach, and with the process inherently requiring users to share personal information, it’s important to consider the potential dangers involved.Testament to this fact, when Pew Research Centre first questioned Americans about online dating in 2005, just 44% said the activity is a good way to meet people, and the majority thought it was a poor replacement for striking up relationships in the ‘real’ world.But the way we communicate, meet and express our love has changed dramatically since then, and when Pew Research Centre repeated the study ten years later, the number that considered online dating to be a good way of meeting people had grown to 59%.This tech-savvy age group is likely embracing online dating as a way to meet interesting new people while balancing busy professional lives.Meanwhile, people that class themselves as the head of a company or business owners make up a surprisingly large one-in-ten (11%) of the online dating population.Although such a large number of people are dating online, our study has found that if you decide to take part, you are most likely to be in the company of users that meet the following criteria.People that date online are most likely to be: Many people that are on the online dating scene are young, as the 33.8 average age suggests, with 43% of 25-34 year olds using online dating services.