Coffee Meets Bagel dating app warns of a data breach.
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By Erin Corbett
February 14, 2019

Nothing says happy Valentine’s Day like a data breach.

The dating app Coffee Meets Bagel sent an email to users on Thursday morning warning that some of their personal information may have been stolen.

The company said it learned on Monday about an unauthorized access to a partial list of user data, representing about six million users. The exposed information included names and email addresses used on the app before May 2018. The company reminded users: “we never store any financial information or passwords.”

The company assured users it is taking steps to protect their personal information, including working with forensic security experts who are reviewing its systems, and coordinating with law enforcement.

The company also urged users to be cautious when receiving unsolicited communications, adding: “We also recommend avoiding clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails.”

Some Coffee Meets Bagel users noticed the company’s unfortunate timing for the announcement. As one person said on Twitter, “Pro tip: Coffee Meets Bagel should send the data breach notice to dating app users before Valentine’s Day.” Another person complained about learning of the data breach on Valentine’s Day, adding they hadn’t used the app in several years. “This day is literally the worst,” they said.

In a statement to Fortune, Coffee Meets Bagel stressed the need for people to feel safe while dating online. “If they don’t feel safe, they won’t share themselves authentically or make meaningful connections,” the company said. “We take that responsibility seriously, so we informed our community as soon as possible—regardless of what calendar date it fell on—about what happened and what we are doing about it.”

There are several steps you can take to make sure your data is a little safer while online dating. You can use a disposable email address to protect your identity and to separate emails from the app. Some email services, like ProtonMail, offer end-to-end encryption, and your encrypted data will not be accessible even to the email provider.

And as with any other online services, using a strong password that you change frequently is an additional step toward keeping your information safe.

 

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