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A recent study crunched the numbers and revealed the primary reasons why we lie on dating websites. Self-preservation is merely the tip of a very dodgy iceberg.
In short, the majority. A survey recently enacted by Kaspersky Lab and B2B International discovered that 57% add fiction to their online selves. In fact, married men are the most likely to lie (usually about their marital status), with 67% stating that they bend the truth across their experience on dating websites.
Outside of that, however, both men and women lie most often about their appearance. Taking the minor medals of the bull-twang Olympiad is the truth about their age, social status and the like.
The lies may not surprise you. However, something else that the survey overturned, is that liars are more deeply wounded by lies told to them than honest folks are. Which is as ironic as it is selfish.
As it turns out, many users (16%) present themselves dishonestly in the hopes of looking better to potential partners. In that, they may not be off base. Data from dating site OkCupid indicates that men who are rated more attractive by female visitors to the site (i.e., men who are taller, more well-built and who have a good job) received eleven times as many messages as lower-rated men. The same thing happens with women, in that conventionally attractive (slim and young) female visitors see five times as many messages as “medium” women, and 28 times as many as women judged unattractive do.
However, it’s not just the desire to find a new partner quickly that inclines people to lie. Some 36% of male research participants lie “just for fun” (31% of women admit to it also). But the most common reason women lie is fear.
34% of female site visitors intentionally falsify information about themselves because they are afraid that real information will be used against them by extortionists and con men. Such fears are not unfounded: 55% of visitors to dating sites have encountered some kind of problem directly related to their use of the services.
There are other reasons for lying. Many visitors to dating sites and users of dating apps still do not consider them all that reputable, and thus don’t want their friends or family to see their profiles. According to the above research, 5% of visitors hide their dating activity from their partners, and another 3% try to discover if their partners or spouses are using a dating site or service.
How do we deal with this?
Unfortunately, no quick fix exists. Despite us drowning in false information in profiles, dating sites continue to be extremely popular. In fact, 32% of all Internet users use them. In this regard, people on dating sites are significantly more at risk of cyber attacks than other users: the ratio of those who experience threats is 41% compared to 20%.
However, the nature of these attacks matter. You can count yourself lucky if someone you’ve been in contact with merely fibbed about their job or age rather than gaining your trust, and then using the information they gained while talking to you for, say, spear phishing. So, always be on guard when talking with strangers who are a “match” – you now know most of them are not who they seem.
The number one rule in business works for love also, as you should always remain suspicious.
This content was created in partnership with our friends at Kaspersky Lab!