On Valentine's Day it's not just love that is in the air. Cyber ​​threats are also “on the prowl”

The technological evolution experienced in the last few decades has made all aspects of our life become much more digital and love relationships are not an exception to the rule: let alone the growing number of dating applications available. However, cybercriminals do not miss an opportunity to try to take advantage of the most unwary users and even Valentine's Day is a pretext for attacking.

A Kaspersky investigation reveals that, in 2019, hackers propagated 1,963 files disguised as legitimate dating applications. The cybersecurity company indicates that two thirds of the malicious files were hidden on Tinder and a sixth was hidden on Badoo.

Phishing scams also affect dating applications. Kaspersky claims that there is an abundance of fake copies of platforms like Tinder circulating on the Internet. Users who are caught by hackers' strategies end up compromising their personal data, which is often sold on the online black market.

The cybersecurity company warns of another danger that has been threatening the safety of users and their love relationships: stalkerware. The software is often used in romantic relationships, in cases where one partner feels he needs to watch everything the other does. The programs are executed in a hidden way on the victims' devices without them noticing or consenting to their use.

According to a newly published report, between January and August last year, Kaspersky recorded more than 518,223 cases of stalkerware worldwide. The numbers represent an increase of 373% compared to the same period in 2018. In Portugal alone, the company registered 93 cases in the first eight months of 2019, which represents an increase of 28% in relation to 2018, where 67 were identified occurrences.

Geographical distribution of stalkerware cases credits: Kaspersky

In order not to let cybercriminals spoil the most romantic day of the year, Kaspersky recommends some preventive measures. Users looking for a better match in dating apps should always install them from trusted sources, checking the permissions you give them on your smartphone or tablet.

Sharing too much personal information with strangers is another practice to avoid. Kaspersky advises users to confirm that the people they talk to on the web are, in fact, true and in profiles created by hackers to commit fraud.