Ways to Protect Yourself and Your Privacy on Online Dating Apps
In the grand scheme of things, dating apps and sites have presented us with a convenient and exciting way to meet and connect with new friends. However, it also introduced a new batch of threats which can put users’ valuable information at risk.
Networking with new people online through websites and apps makes you more vulnerable to scams, identity theft, and harassment online. This, of course, does not include the physical dangers if and / or when you decide to meet in real life.
Looking back, how the other person treats you is out of your control, but what you can handle is your online safety. In this article, we spoke to some of our industry friends to find out how you can protect yourself and your privacy on online dating apps.
Here are some of their suggestions:
Never include personal information on your profile
This includes your last name, email address, workplace, phone number, school, or neighborhood. It’s easy to follow someone with just one of these pieces of information.
Post photos that don’t reveal the places you frequently visit
Do not post photos with you in front of your house, work or school. I have also seen people posting pictures with a work shirt on. This automatically gives your location.
Do not post pictures of yourself with your children
You give up the confidentiality of your children’s identity to thousands of strangers.
Amber Artis, Certified Matchmaker and CEO of Select the date Company said:
Never reveal where you work
If you mention the office building you work in and the person you’re talking to turns out to be a creep, you don’t want them to pop up at your job.
Do not give out your phone number before meeting in person
Limit communication to using the app. If someone searches for your phone number on Google, they can find your address and other personal information about you.
Do not give out identifying information about your children
This can include details such as the sports league they play in or the school they attend.
Do not reveal your date of birth
Even saying your age and zodiac sign, it’s easy to get the month and year you were born.
Don’t reveal your upcoming travel plans or even local outing plans
If you say the restaurant where you meet friends on Friday night, you don’t want a stranger showing up there.
Inform your loved ones of your whereabouts during a meeting
Always go to a well-lit public place for your first date and tell a friend about your plans, checking in with them before and after the date.
Harman Singh, Director of Figure suggests:
Know that less is more
First, consider carefully what you want to share online. Limiting your information (such as your employer or phone number) doesn’t weaken you, however, doing it purely on the basis of need is a wiser decision.
Understand location tracking features
Don’t leave your profiles online without carefully checking your account settings. For example, location settings or images with metadata may disclose your location information.
Use your images with care
This is because someone can easily track more information about you using reverse image search.
Trust but verify
Always do a little research. Do not trust the provision of sensitive information such as personal information or financial information.
Heinrich Long, privacy expert at Restore privacy Explain :
Using your real name is just asking for trouble
I recommend not to use your real name. Until you get to know the person you’re talking to, at least a little bit, play it safe and use a fake name. This will give you an ounce of privacy and won’t allow anyone to google you and find out all kinds of things about you.
It goes without saying that you should never divulge personal information, such as an address or phone number, or financial information. In fact, I wouldn’t even provide social media accounts because you’d be surprised at how much you can discover from your single Facebook page.
Jeremy Harrison, Founder of Hectic life highlighted :
Be an expert in checking profile photos
Use websites like tineye.com to see if there are any matches to the photo elsewhere on the internet. Match what they say and what is in their profile. A mismatch would probably mean they are wrong.
At the end of the day, protecting identities on online dating sites is not a piece of cake and every year there is a significant increase in dating scams. The CEO of an artificial intelligence-based identity verification service provider Shufti Pro, Victor Fredung, explains that people can simply protect themselves by signing up to platforms that verify everyone during the onboarding process. This will ensure that scammers stay away from legitimate users on the website.