New relationship, old tricks? Half of Malaysians face dating abuse online

Survey exposes dark side of online dating in Malaysia

18 Feb 2024 07:04am
Photo for illustration purpose only. - Photo by 123RF
Photo for illustration purpose only. - Photo by 123RF

KUALA LUMPUR - A survey commissioned by Kaspersky involving 21,000 respondents worldwide and 1,000 in Malaysia revealed that almost half of Malaysian respondents had experienced some form of online stalking and digital abuse from the person they were newly dating.

"Almost 47 per cent of respondents believed that checking the social media accounts of a person they had started dating as a form of due diligence is acceptable, while 42 per cent admitted to doing so when they started dating someone.

"And 56 per cent of the respondents are willing to share passwords that could potentially allow their location to be accessed,” the survey revealed.

In a statement today, the company said the types of abuse, however, are varied in Malaysia, with well over a third (42 per cent) of respondents having reported some form of violence or abuse from a current or previous partner; 19 per cent of respondents had been sent unwanted emails or messages; 18 per cent had been filmed or photographed without consent; 17 per cent had their location tracked; 15 per cent had their social media accounts or emails hacked; and 13 per cent had stalkerware installed on their devices without consent.

Kaspersky managing director for Asia Pacific, Adrian Hia, stalkerware’s chilling grip on thousands demands action. "This insidious tool fuels harmful behaviour, and Kaspersky is tackling it head-on.

We will continue to raise awareness, share expertise, and collaborate with partners from public and private sectors.

"It is our unwavering mission to equip victims with knowledge and guide them towards the safest path, ultimately reversing the tide against digital abuse,” Hia was quoted as saying in the statement.

Other than Malaysia, the survey, conducted by Arlington Research on behalf of Kaspersky, also involved respondents aged 16 and above in 21 countries including the United Kingdom, the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China, France, Germany, Greece, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Peru, Singapore, Russia and India. - BERNAMA

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