More and more people are turning to online dating to find love these days. While this can be a great way to meet your perfect match, there are some risks involved. Think about it: anyone can download a dating app and create a fake profile that they can use to pretend to be someone else. And if you are on the victim’s end, you might end up getting hurt in some way. So, it is important to know about these risks and take steps to protect yourself if you are going to be using a dating app.
Continue reading for a list of some of the best ways to protect yourself and boost your security when using dating apps.
Be careful about what information you disclose
When creating your profile and interacting with your matches on a dating app, you do not want to disclose too much personal information about yourself. Sure, you should be honest and authentic about what you are looking for in a partner, but you do not want to give away personal data like your contact details or where you work or live. Instead, keep things vague, at least until you really get to know someone and you are ready to take your relationship to the next level.
Use people search sites to your advantage
In addition to avoiding oversharing on the dating app itself, consider what someone would be able to find out about you by doing a simple Google search using your full name. Not sure what they’d find? Do a search for yourself. What you will likely find is that there are a lot of different people searching websites displaying your contact details and making it possible for strangers to run background checks on you. Opting out of those sites can help you keep your information more secure and harder to find.
At the same time, you can also use these resources to look up information about the people you end up interacting with on a dating app. This can shed a lot of light on whether or not they are being honest about who they are and what they have done in the past. A great example is Nuwber. Use it to search for someone’s background information, including police records and lawsuits.
Consider using a separate phone number and email address
Another way to keep your personal information private and make it harder for someone to look up information about you is by using a separate phone number that will only be utilized when you want to chat on the phone with a match. For instance, you might set up a Google Voice number that can help boost your security when dating online.
The same approach can be taken when it comes to the email address that you use for your dating account. By creating a totally new email address, you can keep it separate from your personal information, so even when people try to look up data about you based on your email, they will not be able to find anything important.
Do not connect with suspicious profiles
Usually, the ones who are interested in finding a partner online upload at least two or three pictures and are open to communication. If the person you matched with has only one photo or, on the contrary, has multiple photos, it may be a sign that you have come across a scammer. Other notable features are no bio and linked social media accounts. One of the most suspicious traits of a scammer is being too persistent. If they start messaging you with phrases like “I love you,” “You are the love of my life,” or “We should meet,” etc., without even knowing you, watch out and do not get into the scammer’s trap.
Do not respond if they ask you for financial help
It is obvious, yet many men and women forget about common sense on dating apps. According to the Al-Estiklal Newspaper report of 2022, “Hundreds of thousands of Americans have been subjected to romantic financial fraud in amounts exceeding $1.3 billion over the past five years”. Imagine how this figure has increased by now.
Even if you know the person you have been talking to for a long period but you still have not met, it does not mean that you should be involved in this person’s financial life. The infamous situation with Simon Leviev is a significant example. Remember: when it comes to financial transactions, the only people you should help are your family and closest friends.
Ignore rude behavior
The world is full of cruel people, and when it comes to dating apps, encountering rude behavior is a common practice. Rudeness does not only come from scammers but even people who came to find a partner. However, when it comes to swindlers, the situation is much worse. At first, they can be very kind and supportive, but the second you refuse to send them money, for instance, or get involved in any activity they ask for, they become very rude. Do not be surprised if they start cussing you or even get personal. If they do, this is a huge sign that this person should be avoided at all costs. The most effective way is to ignore and block such people.
One of the most important pieces of advice is to be super attentive and take all the necessary precautions. As we have already mentioned, do not share any personal information. If you do, you may become a victim of scams, harassment, or even stalking. If you decide to meet in real life, make sure you know about this person as much as possible: where they work, their phone number, and, if possible, their address. It is also crucial to have their photos and send them to your friends and family.
When it comes to face-to-face meetings, take into account the following information:
- Meet only in crowded places. At least, at first.
- Do not leave your belongings if you go to the bathroom or want to get a drink.
- Never leave your drink unattended, even in public places.
- If you spot any suspicious or even rude behavior, walk out and leave.
- Ask your friends or family members to pick you up after the date or take a taxi or bus. If the person you are meeting offers to drop you home, refuse.
- Always tell the people you trust the address where you are meeting your date.
Let’s sum up
By taking a few simple steps, you can increase your security when using an online dating app or website. Consider the tips above as you work on finding love to keep yourself safe. And remember: if something feels off, it is better not to get involved. It is always a good idea to take the necessary measures than regret it later.