It’s easy to understand why a lot of users enjoy meeting new people and new potential love interests through the Tinder platform.
Unfortunately, there have been some encryption issues in the past. The “full-sized” website seems to be relatively secure, according to a recent security analysis, but the mobile device app had problems with encryption. That’s especially troubling when you look at the volume of messages that are passed along via Tinder. The company has reported traffic levels of 1.6 billion messages sent between users each day and, without secure encryption, someone with the right skillset can intercept, gather, or even alter a user’s messages and images.
Now, a new security issue has been reported to the company. Rather than just being able to break into your messages with other users, a researcher was able to exploit a security hole in Tinder in combination with Facebook’s Account Kit tool, and actually take over a user account. Fortunately, the researcher was actively looking to see if there was a problem; he contacted Tinder and Facebook with the details of the flaw, enabling them to issue a security update.
Cybersecurity issues are a daily battle and can seem more like an ongoing war. The bad guys find new ways to steal data or manipulate it, and the good guys rush to reinforce the security and protect the people. Every time a new security measure is created, hackers find another way to break through the defenses and experts step in to correct it.
That leaves the users trapped in the middle, and unfortunately, there have been catastrophic identity theft events as a result. Rather than shunning all technology or apps in an effort to protect yourself, you can develop some good security habits instead:
1. Watch out for oversharing
Whether it’s too much personal information or even a picture that you wouldn’t want to fall into the wrong hands, think of your data as being thrown into a giant mixing bowl. The person who’s supposed to receive it is the only one who should be able to access it, and in a perfect cyber world that would be true. If you remember that someone else could reach into that bowl and grab it instead, you might be less likely to share something that could hurt you.
2. Lower-level security is fine for lower-level results
If you’re using your laptop in a coffee shop to search through online job boards for employment, you’re probably safe. But that same coffee shop’s Wi-Fi connection also makes it so those same job boards are no place to enter your Social Security number or other sensitive information. The same is true for sites like Tinder. Swiping right to meet a new person is fine, but sharing personal details and images is best left to more secure communication methods and not an app.
3. Always make sure your device software is up-to-date
Anytime you’re using a socially connected platform, it’s important to make sure your antivirus and anti-malware software is installed and up-to-date. Remember, if you don’t install the latest updates, you’re not protected against the latest threats.