New Delhi: Earlier this week, a hacker group called “Impact Week” hacked Ashley Madison, the dating site for cheaters, and in so doing compromised user data, images, credit card information and chats. sexually explicit. The aim of the hack, according to reports, is to “blackmail the site into shutting down”, mainly because of its “morally questionable business model”. The Canadian site has nearly 40 million users (37 million users), whose data is now at stake.
A report published in The Times of India on Wednesday claimed that 275,000 Indians may have suffered from the hacking. The report also states that Ashley Madison had “a quiet launch in India in January 2014” and “within months, 275,000 Indian users signed up without any marketing push.”
While online dating is not as popular in India as it is in the United States or Canada, or even China, in recent years several Indian startups have made inroads into the space. Interestingly, social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter and dating sites like Shaadi.com are still preferred by those interested in online dating. Besides apps like Tinder and sites like OkCupid which have become popular options among Indian users, there are several native apps like TrulyMadly, Thrill, Waltzz, Krush, Footloose No More, SirfCoffee and Woo which are gaining popularity among users.
According to data from one dating site, there were six million Indians who registered on various dating sites in 2012. This number is expected to increase to 115 million by 2015.
With dating sites (and apps) under the hacker’s radar, here are five such platforms that Indian users should be wary of.
Founded in 2004 by Harvard University students Chris Coyne, Christian Rudder, Sam Yagan, and Max Krohn, the online dating site was named one of Time Magazine’s Top 10 Dating Sites in 2007. It went on to be acquired by Congolomerate Internet media InterActiveCorp (IAC) as part of its “The Match Group” division, which owns several popular online dating sites, including Match.com, Twoo, Tinder and SpeedDate.
As of June, OkCupid had almost 10.15 million unique visitors per month. The site is known for its quizzes and multiple choice questions, which it uses to generate matches for its users.
Another product of the IAC team, the Tinder “hookup app” has seen a spike in popularity among Indian users, especially over the past 18 to 24 months. The app, which was primarily aimed at “millennials” or people aged 18 and over. -34, claims to have nearly 1.6 billion swipes (you swipe right on Tinder for a match), with 26 million matches per day, as of April. Estimates on Mashable suggest that “the app has been downloaded by over 50 million users to date.” However, in March of this year, a security breach meant that the app was modified by hackers to trick men into flirting with men. Close examination after a breach in the app revealed the exact location of users for months.
Co-founded by Sachin Bhatia of fame MakeMyTrip, TrulyMadly is probably the Indian version of Tinder. Since launching in 2014 as a website, TrulyMadly, according to a TechCrunch report in March of this year, has “reached 200,000 downloads …” with one female forming a third of its ever-expanding user base. That month, TrulyMadly completed a series A round of fundraising that raised them $ 5.6 million. Bhatia, in the report cited above, is targeting around “3.5 million downloads by the end of the year.”
Launched in 1995 by Gary Kreman and Peng T. Ong, Match.com is one of the oldest dating sites on the Internet. Match.com is also part of the IAC franchise, acquired by the company in 1998. The site is ranked # 1 for online dating in the United States and has 35 million unique monthly visitors (as of June 2015, Statista). However, in April of this year, tech site ArsTechnica reported a security breach on the website, where registered users see their “site password exposed every time they log in because the dating site does not. do not use HTTPS encryption to protect their login page. “Match.com currently serves 25 countries and is available in eight languages. In 2014, Match.com launched a dating app called“ Stream, ”which is similar to Tinder.
AdultFriendFinder is easily one of the largest casual (adult) dating sites online, with a global user base of 63 million users. Ranked among the top 100 websites in the United States, AFF was founded in 1996 by Andrew Concru as WebPersonals, which later became FriendFinder. According to the online analysis site SimilarWeb, AFF had nearly 35.4 million visitors in June 2015, the majority of them being desktop users. Earlier this year, in April, the site was hacked, the personal information of at least 3.9 million users posted on several online forums. The information published includes “sexual preferences, email addresses, sexual orientation, dates of birth, addresses and usernames”.
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