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New Norton Study Unveils The Rise Of AI In Online Dating

AUCKLAND, New Zealand, 24 April 2024 – A new survey from Norton, a consumer Cyber Safety brand of Gen™ (NASDAQ: GEN), has shed light on a new way people are hoping to incorporate AI into their lives -- online dating. Over half (51 percent) of current online daters in New Zealand are interested in using AI as their dating coach. This finding is part of a broader exploration in the 2024 Online Dating Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report, which delves into online behaviours when it comes to meeting and exchanging information with prospective partners and romantic interests.

We found that people invest a significant amount of time and money on online dating. In fact, Norton data shows current online daters in New Zealand spend an average of about four hours a week and more than $160 throughout their lifetime on dating apps and services. Given this investment, people are turning to AI as a convenient tool to guide them through online dating and help increase their chances of finding a match. Of those that are currently using an online dating app or service, 55 percent are interested in using AI to write pick up lines/conversation starters, 52 percent for dating app profile development and 42 percent for photo enhancement.

However, while there’s excitement around the possibility of using AI to improve the online dating experience, people need to be aware of how this technology can also lead to the potential threat of romance scams. Norton’s data shows that nearly a third of Kiwis (28 percent) who have used a dating app say they have been targeted by a dating scam, with over a third (36 percent) of this 28 percent falling victim. Additionally, nearly a quarter (24 percent) of Kiwis who have used a dating app said they had been catfished by someone.

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“Using AI as a dating coach to enhance your profile or even your photo when you’re navigating the world of online dating seems innocuous enough. But not everyone is using AI technology to find true love. While Kiwis think that online dating is relatively safe, it gets riskier and more complicated when used for less respectable reasons, like creating more convincing romance scams,” says Mark Gorrie, Managing Director APAC for Norton. "People should stay vigilant for the common signs of a romance scam like avoiding video calls, having very few or low quality images on their accounts or attempting to progress the relationship quickly.”

The report also found that amongst current dating app users:

  • Nearly a third (29 percent) of Kiwi men prefer to meet a potential partner online.
  • Only 14 percent of women prefer to meet a potential partner online. This could likely be attributed to lack of perceived safety regarding the people they interact with on the apps.
  • Online daters ranked Whatsapp (53 percent) and Instagram (51 percent) as the safest dating apps.
  • Hud is rated the least safe, with only 8 percent of people agreeing it is safe.

With the increased popularity of AI in online dating and rising scams targeting online daters, there is a critical need for education and awareness around Cyber Safety. Norton helps people leverage AI and digital safety tools to navigate the online dating world safely with products like Norton Genie, a free AI-powered scam detection app for messages, social media posts, email or websites to check if a message is a scam. Norton Genie can review suspicious texts, emails or web links, such as those that direct people to fake dating sites or website links from prospective partners, and confirm if it’s malicious.

For access to full results of the 2024 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release: Online Dating, please click here.

About the 2024 Norton Cyber Safety Insights Report: Special Release – Online Dating

The study was conducted online within New Zealand by Dynata on behalf of Gen from March 6th to March 23rd, 2024 among 1,007 adults ages 18 and older, including 109 current online daters and 361 adults who have used a dating app. Data are weighted where necessary by age, gender, and region, to be nationally representative.

About Norton

Norton is a leader in Cyber Safety, and part of Gen™ (NASDAQ: GEN), a global company dedicated to powering Digital Freedom with a family of trusted consumer brands. Norton empowers millions of individuals and families with award-winning protection for their devices, online privacy, and identity. Norton products and services are certified by independent testing organisations including AV-TEST, AV-Comparatives, and SE Labs. Norton is a founding member of the Coalition Against Stalkerware. Learn more at www.norton.com.

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