Users of mobile and online dating apps are being warned that they may be leaving themselves open to hacking as well as heartbreak.

A study of the ten most popular dating apps for Android systems has found that many of them provide access to users photos, files, location and contacts.

The research, carried out by Datingroo – a company that evaluates dating apps – found that many users are potentially leaving themselves open to hackers.

Many users who sign up for dating apps are instantly giving permission for access to a lot of personal data, and may not even realise they are doing so.

The study looked at ten apps, including Tinder, Elite Singles, Match, Plenty of Fish and okcupid.

It found that all of the apps have access to photos, media, files and other content stored on a device's USB storage.

80% of the apps also had access to users location, and Wi-Fi connections.

Seven of the ten apps also had access to all the contacts and accounts on the device, while three of the apps – including Plenty of Fish – had access to the microphone on the device they were installed on.

Datingroo said that in the worst-case scenario, a user's saved billing information could be vulnerable to hackers.

Confidential content on the phone or device could also be vulnerable in the event of a data breach.

The study says that while many of these apps require access to this data before they can be installed, there are still ways that people can protect themselves.

A strong password is crucial, with the advice being to choose three random words that are not related to aspects of your personal life.

People are also advised not to divulge personal information like their date of birth, address and workplace – save this for the date itself!

The study also recommends regularly reviewing the level of access that is given to mobile apps as they may gain additional permissions after the device updates.