7 Online Dating Safety Tips You Need To Follow
Today more than ever, singles are heavily relying on online dating sites and apps to find matches. Tinder, Match, Bumble, Zoosk, and OkCupid are just a few of the many platforms being used. However, just like finding potential dates in-person, online dating does pose safety risks. These platforms contain scammers, predators, and catfishers who are looking for new victims.
According to a study conducted by Kaspersky, 55% of the respondents have experienced some form of threat or problem while dating online. If you are using these platforms, be sure to follow these online dating safety tips.
Utilize Dating App Privacy and Safety Features
Many online dating websites and apps have included features to ensure users’ safety, privacy, and security. As an example, we will talk about Tinder. This dating app offers a Safety Center where you can do the following:
- Photo Verification: Take a series of posed photos so Tinder can verify your identity. Users who do this will have a blue checkmark displayed on their dating profile.
- Panic Button: Informs the local authorities immediately when you report a date is dangerous.
- Tinder Timeline: Keep a record of all upcoming dates and information like when and where it is happening. Then, share this information with your friends as a safety precaution.
- Does This Bother You?: Report offensive and inappropriate messages to Tinder.
In general, make sure to use unique login methods for each dating site or app you use and don’t connect them to your personal social media accounts.
Be Aware Of The Online Dating Dangers
Before using dating apps and sites, educate yourself on the various online dating dangers. Hackers and scammers will often target users and try to get their personal information. This information can then be used to access a person’s accounts and/or steal their identity. Catfishers will create fake profiles so they can establish relationships with others and exploit them. To help users, many of the dating platforms also offer resources to educate users on these dangers and provide safety precautions.
Avoid Sharing Too Much Personal Information
When getting to know someone, people tend to let their guard down and tell them about themselves. However, when it comes to dating online, you can’t truly know who someone is behind the screen. For protection, avoid sharing too much personal information on your profile and with those you’re communicating with.
On your profile, make sure not to include your full name. If you do, the likelihood of others finding you online and on social media is high. When messaging matches, be careful not to share personal information including contact information, date of birth, where you live, financial information, and more. This information could easily be used by criminals to steal your identity and finances.
Keep Communications On The Platform
No matter how comfortable you are with a match, keep messaging and video chatting on the dating platform. Once you exchange phone numbers or emails, your safety is at risk. It’s okay to take things off-app once you have gone on a date or two. Always use your best judgment.
Block and Report Suspicious Users
If another user is acting suspiciously or is harassing or threatening, block and report them on the platform. This not only protects you but other users they may be targeting as well.
Research Your Dates
Before meeting in-person, research your date. Various ways this can be done include:
- Run a person search
- Google their name and do a reverse image search of their profile picture.
- Find them on social media.
By researching them, you can find out if they are who they claim to be and if they are potentially dangerous.
Take Precautions When Going On A Date In-Person
It’s date time! Now what? What can you do to protect yourself? First, share with friends or family where, when, and with whom you are going out with. Make sure the date is in a public location to ensure you aren’t in danger or being taken advantage of. If at any time you feel uncomfortable, try to get out of the date or contact a friend or loved one.
By following these tips, you should be able to date safely online. Always follow your instincts and be on the lookout for red flags your match is shady or aren’t who they appear to be.