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How safe are online dating apps?

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The study by global cyber security company Kaspersky Lab showed that many dating apps do not handle users’ sensitive data with sufficient care. (Source: File Photo)

Even as more and more youngsters use dating apps for fun or to find the love of their life, new research warns that these apps are vulnerable to hacks, putting the users at risk of getting their locations and real names revealed.

The study by global cyber security company Kaspersky Lab showed that many dating apps do not handle users’ sensitive data with sufficient care.

“That’s no reason not to use such services. You simply need to understand the issues and, where possible, minimise the risks,” Kaspersky Lab said in a statement on Monday.

In a survey conducted in association with research firm B2B International, Kaspersky Lab found that people turn to online dating for a variety of reasons — 48 per cent do it for fun, 13 per cent are simply look for sex while some want more meaningful relationships.

People share information with others too easily when they are dating online, with a quarter admitting they share their full name publicly on their dating profile.

The experts studied nine popular mobile online dating apps — Tinder, Bumble, OkCupid, Badoo, Mamba, Zoosk, Happn, WeChat, Paktor — and identified the main threats for users.

The researchers discovered that four of the nine apps they investigated allow potential criminals to figure out who is hiding behind a nickname based on data provided by users themselves.

Using this information, it is possible to find their social media accounts and discover their real names.

“We informed the developers in advance about all the vulnerabilities detected and by the time this text was released some had already been fixed and others were slated for correction in the near future. However, not every developer promised to patch all of the flaws,” the experts said.

The researchers found that eight of the nine applications for Android were ready to provide too much information to cyber criminals.

“If someone wants to know your whereabouts, six of the nine apps will lend a hand. Only OkCupid, Bumble and Badoo keep user location data under lock and key. All of the other apps indicate the distance between you and the person you’re interested in. By moving around and logging data about the distance between the two of you, it’s easy to determine the exact location of the ‘prey’,” the researchers warned.

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Your Genes Determine How Successful Your Married Life Is

They are relevant to how partners provide and receive support from each other.

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They are relevant to how partners provide and receive support from each other. Pixabay

Do you think you could lead a happy married life? The answer is in your genes, a new study has said.

Although prior research has hinted that marital quality is, at least partially, impacted by genetic factors, and that oxytocin may be relevant to social support, according to recent studies, variation on specific genes related to oxytocin functioning impact overall marital quality, in part.

They are relevant to how partners provide and receive support from each other.

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Husbands with a particular genotype were less satisfied with the support they were provided from their wives which suggested that it was also associated with being less satisfied with their marriage, noted Mattson. Pixabay

The study evaluated whether different genotypes – possible genetic combinations of the oxytocin receptor gene (OXTR)- influenced how spouses support one another, which is a key determinant of overall marital quality.

OXTR was targeted because it is related to the regulation and release of oxytocin.

“Genes matter when it comes to the quality of marriage, because genes are relevant to who we are as individuals, and characteristics of the individual can impact the marriage,” said Richard Mattson, Associate Professor from the Binghamton University in the US.

For the study, the team included nearly 100 couples.

Each partner was asked individually to come up with an issue to discuss something they identify as their most salient personal problem that was not related to their partner or partner’s family such as problems at work.

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Genes matter when it comes to the quality of marriage, because genes are relevant to who we are as individuals, and characteristics of the individual can impact the marriage,” said Richard Mattson, Associate Professor from the Binghamton University in the US. Pixabay

“We found that variation at two particular locations on OXTR impacted the observed behaviours of both husbands and wives, and that differences in behaviour across couples had small but cumulative effects on overall evaluations of support, and thus marital quality in general,” added Mattson, published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

However, what emerged as most relevant to overall marital quality for both partners was genotypic variation among husbands at a specific location on OXTR.

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Husbands with a particular genotype were less satisfied with the support they were provided from their wives which suggested that it was also associated with being less satisfied with their marriage, noted Mattson.

The researchers hope their findings provide the foundation for replication and additional study of OXTR as an enduring determinant of marital functioning. (IANS)