In the information age, your name is all it takes for someone to uncover all sorts of things about you in a matter of a few keystrokes.
So, it makes sense that people on the dating scene are less likely to reveal their full name — or other personal information — to new potential partners right away.
Yet, strangely, new research reveals that when it comes to dishing out personal details to a faceless online entity, Americans are much more likely to open up than they are with someone they are dating.
The new survey of 2,000 people across the country found that it takes the average American 20 seconds to determine if an email in their inbox is safe, 28 seconds to see if an online form is safe to punch personal information into and 31 seconds to decide if a website is okay to make purchases from with their credit card.
But when it comes to potential partners Americans need to have been on an average of two and a half dates before they are comfortable enough to reveal even their full name!
It takes an average of four dates before they are willing to disclose their home address and six and a half before talking about salary, although one in three said that no amount of dates would make them feel comfortable revealing the latter.
The research conducted by encryption experts Echoworx also revealed that three-quarters of Americans admit that they have given up personal or sensitive information while filling in an online form and that the average person shares around three pieces of personal information over email every week.
Of course, the level of apparent authority is important. Thirty-eight percent say that they have sent personal information to their healthcare provider online, 35 percent have sent it to a banker and one in four have forwarded it to a government official.
The most common reason for sending out the info, though, doesn’t have much to do with authority at all.
The number one reason tends to be making an online purchase, followed by applying for a job and applying for a mortgage or insurance.
Despite the regularity of dispensing important information online, a vast majority of Americans question just how safe it is to do so.
Thirty percent even say that they always feel funny about giving out info online. On top of that, around 40 percent of people say that they have sent an email with personal information that they later regretted.
Twenty-four percent say that they have had their personal information stolen with a further 22 percent saying that they have reason to suspect it may have been.
One in five Americans claim that their computer has been hacked before, but more than a quarter are unsure what “encryption” of data — an important online security measure — even means.
In fact, when asked for the definition, one in three got the answer wrong. “It’s interesting that we are more willing to spread out personal information across the web than we are to divulge facts to a person we are personally getting to know,” a spokesperson for Echoworx said.
“It’s not that it should be the opposite, but when it comes to things like your social security number and banking details being shared over online channels, it’s necessary to take care.”
On the dating side, a surprising number (43 percent) say that they are either somewhat or very comfortable sharing their full address, banking information or various other personal details with someone they are considering to be their partner — it just takes some time.
Americans need to have been on an average of three dates before being comfortable enough to reveal their date of birth, five before talking about their medical history and two before giving out an email address.
Shockingly, people are more likely to give up their social security number to someone they’re dating than their credit card numbers.
After just one date, only 23 percent are comfortable revealing their home address and 37 percent are willing to discuss their religion.
A small yet concerning five percent of Americans say they would feel comfortable disclosing their social security number to a potential partner after just one date.
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