Brits exploit dating apps to find new career opportunities

One in ten UK employees use dating apps and websites such as Tinder, Bumble and Plenty of Fish exclusively for networking or finding new employment.

In its new Love in an algorithmic age report, cybersecurity firm Kasperksy found 58% of Brits surveyed had made successful networking connections through a dating app.

A small proportion (9%) also have their LinkedIn profile connected to dating sites.

This has led dating apps to launch sister platforms dedicated to networking, such as Bumble Bizz, which helps users find business contacts by swiping right on profiles of businesses, recruiters and other professionals who work in the same industry.

Perry Timms, founder and chief energy officer of PTHR, said digital platforms offer us "germ-free" places to meet and chat with people.

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: "We can use dating apps for intelligence gathering. Not to join the company so that we can date that individual – the dating apps are more than adequate to do that – but to make a choice about a potential work opportunity that would otherwise be unknown to us.

"The future of opportunity creation may lie in us being able to use more chaos theory-like methods and unorthodox intelligence sources. And searching for jobs and people to network with on dating sites – but not to date – may just be the tip of a range of data mining sources we have yet to normalise."

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Despite the growing success of dating app networking, Kapersky’s report warned of the dangers of employees sharing potentially sensitive data.

One in six people on dating apps have been the victim of doxing, which is where personal information is shared about an individual or organisation without their consent.

David Emm, principal security researcher at Kapersky, said: “It makes sense that dating apps are playing an ever more important role in our professional lives – after all, there are millions of people using them on a regular basis, presenting a good opportunity to connect with the right people to advance our careers.

“But of course, the more information we share about ourselves online, the greater the risk we face that this information can be used in a harmful way. Sharing exact locations, religious beliefs, current place of employment or personal photos on such apps are all examples of the sort of data that can be used maliciously.”

Emm recommended HR addresses the potential security threat by providing training on how much information should be shared on external platforms.

He added: “Not connecting the app to your social media accounts is also recommended, so that if your app profile is compromised, an attacker doesn’t gain access to your social media online presence automatically.”

Sapio Research conducted the survey on behalf of Kapersky by surveying over 18,000 people in 27 countries, of whom 84% were either currently using a dating app or had used one in the past.