ONLINE DATING – the daunting reality
Has technology enslaved humankind? What seemed like a science fiction story couple of decades back, today it is a reality. The advent of affordable smartphones and internet access for the masses has transformed our lives forever. The world wide web has cast its spell over our daily activity and has got full control over our lives, to an extent that today our emotional life is technology-driven. Online Dating websites that have taken the internet world by storm. Thanks to our ever-curious human mind and lust for intangible pleasures, human beings are seeking no-frills affairs and indulge in incognito relationships online by keeping their self-identity discreet and anonymous.
The social media networking platforms and Online dating websites and mobile applications have transformed the way we meet people and look at relationships. With personal interactions fast getting diminished, the new generation is used to express their emotions, online. The new generation does not shy away from exhibiting their personal feelings on a public domain or even pursue their love interest in a public domain.
Online dating is currently a robust industry with innumerable catchy websites and easy to subscribe to Mobile applications. An Online Dating App can be easily downloaded in our smartphones and it rests there 24 x 7 drawing our constant attention. As our mobile devices are an inseparable object of our life, our favorite/ addictive apps installed on our smartphones remain inseparable.
A study has shown that the acceptance of dating via Online platforms have gained popularity in the last decade. About 59% of the internet savvy generation believes that Online dating is a good way to meet new people and since it is virtual, it hassle-free and has no strings attached.
No matter how dramatic the change might be, even today people have their reservations towards Online dating sites. The vulnerability of unwanted exposure of Private life in the public domain, the malicious entities stealing personal data for commercial gains, the fear of being a victim of blackmail and financial distress or simply being attacked by harmful malware/viruses and a damaging electronic device, are some of the real threats perceived by the Online dating web users.
The infamous data breach case of Ashley Madison’s popular online dating site in the year 2015 is a classic example of the security threat that looms large over Online dating applications and its users. In this fateful event, the hackers made away with sensitive personal details of millions of subscribers worldwide. A data dump of 9.7 Gigabytes was posted on the dark web with files containing the user ID and log in details of more than 30 million subscribers. The leaked data included Credit card transaction details, Names, addresses, email Ids, phone numbers, etc of the customers using the social platform.
Ashley Madison for instance is one of the biggest online dating sites for married people offering guarantee matches with partners with similar interests, and often infamously touted as the most popular cheating site. The hacked data saw thousands of cheating wives and cheating husbands seeking an extramarital affair online. Owing to its attributes there is no doubt that the data breach of customers of this kind of social networking site can be a cause of huge embarrassment and can deeply affect the private lives of millions. The Dating site had about 40 million users worldwide at the time when it was hacked. It’s easy to imagine the mental trauma and feeling of insecurity among the customers who trusted the site.
The question arises, are these online dating sites getting access to too many personal details of the customers? Are the online daters exposing themselves to malicious people and putting themselves at risk? With new security enhancements and the latest server security monitoring system software, the security breach can be detected & controlled immediately by the IT security team.
Despite the risk factors, a study has found that almost 35% of Internet users globally are actively using online dating sites. So who are these large numbers of people seeking fun flings and meaningful relationships online? The online daters are found to be of 34 years old on an average where 40 % are men and only 25% are women. Most of these online daters about 64% are tech-savvy and engaged in full-time jobs. Most of these people about 20% of them are middle-level managers and only 17 – 18% of them are highly qualified workers, engineers/ doctors, teachers, etc. It is seen that a vast mix of people from various age groups and with varied interests and personal preferences indulge in online dating social networking sites. On a brighter note, it counters the monotony and boredom of routine mechanical life.