File photo: Its research found over 62 percent of people surveyed admitted to lying while dating online. Picture: AP

Pretoria - Despite the ugly truth that looking for “the one” on the internet means dealing with fake information and photos, and malicious links, 31 percent of South Africans use online dating.

According to Kaspersky Lab, a Russian multinational cyber security and antivirus provider, online dating is a risk because people fake personal information.

Its research found over 62 percent of people surveyed admitted to lying while dating online, and faking information to make themselves look better than in real life.

Some said they did it to try to catch their partners cheating. Of these, 54 percent used fake photos, and 59 percent lied about their ages.

About 35 percent lied about their marital status, 29 percent about their profession, 23 percent about their relationship expectations, 16 percent their place of work, 14 percent about their sexual habits and 13 percent about their wealth status.

The research found that those who looked for their soulmates on dating platforms were in the minority at 10 percent, compared to the 50 percent using it for fun, while another 19 percent used it to extract sexual favours.

But fake data seemed to have put people off online dating, with one in five respondents stating they were put off by false photos. One in 10 were put off by fake relationship expectations and dishonest relationship statuses.

Some said they felt threatened and were afraid for their online security. About 17 percent had encountered scammers, who tried to extort personal or financial information by sending malicious links to infect their devices.

Pretoria News