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Got a match? Don’t get too excited, it could be your biggest privacy nightmare

Dating apps are also another popular platform for hackers.
Dating apps are also another popular platform for hackers. (Pixabay)

Popular dating apps are frequently used by hackers to install malware and get access to personal data of users.

Valentine's Day is only a few hours away with the rush to find dates only getting quicker. Dating apps are expected to see a spike in activity but this can also result in users being prey to hackers.

A new report by Kaspersky Lab shows how hackers imitate popular dating apps and trick users into downloading malware on their devices. These hackers have to simply copy the name and the design of the dating services. Dating apps like Tinder and Badoo are the most targeted ones among users. A search for dating apps done by Kaspersky researchers showed 1,262 files under Tinder and 263 under Badoo.

"The danger these malicious files bring varies from file to file, ranging from Trojans that can download other malware to ones that send expensive SMS, to adware, making it likely every ping a user gets is some sort of annoying ad notification rather than a message from a potential date," Kaspersky said.

Users who actually download and install these disguised apps end up sharing their personal info for making dating profiles. Hackers can then get access to the user's personal data and sell it off. Dating apps are hugely popular globally and with Valentine's Day the usage is expected to go even higher. Tinder itself said its platform witnesses the most number of activities during the Valentine's week.

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If you frequent dating apps, here are a few things to keep in mind.

-Check the app's permissions on your phone and see what it can get access to.

-Don't install apps from untrusted sources.

-If you see a dating app try to find out more about it before using it.

-Keep your personal details to a minimum with strangers on dating apps.

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