Dating apps have become highly popular. The popularity has further increased because of the new normal. Signing up for any dating app is so easy! You just need to drop your name, sexual preference, your location is automatically taken care of through GPS and yes, lastly, a profile picture and you are ready to date and meet your matches.
To make the profiles look genuine, the bio feature is also added in many dating apps and websites where the users tell a bit more about themselves. Sometimes, in the process of making oneself look very genuine, too much personal information is also shared, which undoubtedly is a bad practice. Wondering why?
In early January 2020, a European data protection agency revealed that popular dating apps like Grindr, OkCupid and Tinder are sharing highly personal information about the users including sexual preferences and locations with their advertising partners. They, of course, have denied the charges but data breaches aren’t new in the digital world. That is why it is important to take care of your privacy while using any dating apps. Here are a few tips to protect your privacy while using a dating app.
Which Apps Should You Use?
Avoid any dating app that allows random people to text you (unless you are using random chat sites such as Omegle or CooMeet). Because unfortunately, in traditional dating apps when such freedom is given it is often used to send disrespectful messages and you surely don’t want to be on the receiving end of it. Go for the apps where texting is permitted when both the parties are interested in each other.
Check the geographical settings in the dating app. Mostly, the dating apps use the information from your GPS to ensure that the matches are from the same geographical area which makes it possible to meet offline when things go well. This is a good thing, however, giving a general idea of your location is different than telling your exact neighbourhood. You don’t need such preciseness in any dating app.
Ensure that the photo that you use in the dating app is unique. Why is that important? It is because the reverse image search is now possible because of Google. If you use a common profile picture in all your social media accounts, with just a tap, all your social media accounts will be revealed to the other people.
Don’t put too much personal information on your profile. Avoid using your last name, social media account handles and other contact information. In fact, one should take care of it while using any social media platform too. Sharing too much information makes it pretty easy for a stranger to stalk you, both digitally and in the offline world.
How To Interact Online On Dating Apps?
Texting with the default messaging system of the phone can be convenient but it is not safe. Always prefer to use the default messaging system of the dating app to talk to your interest.
Use a Google Voice phone number when you want to talk to your date. Don’t go around sharing your real phone number. It is pretty easy to find an available phone number on Google Voice for that purpose.
Sometimes, dating apps like Tinder show if you have mutual friends. You can go ahead and do a background check of your interest with your mutual friends to know more about them.
Don’t share too many details on the very first go. It is a good idea to know each other deeply but be cautious of the information that you share with them. Sometimes, a person might look great online but they can be wearing a mask!
How To Meet Your Date In The Real World?
If things escalate and you have started trusting the person that you have met online, you would surely like to meet them for real. Again, it is very important to protect yourself on such dates.
Don’t ask your date to pick you from your home. Instead, take your own mode of transportation to meet them and don’t let them know where you exactly live.
Always choose a public place to meet on your first date. Get to know your date better when you are surrounded by other people. It will give you an extra layer of protection.
Inform your friend/s about the date! Share your location with them. Ask them to ping or call you and ask you if you are really okay. They can come to your rescue if you are not.
No matter where you are going, it is always a good idea to carry some sort of self-defence tool. Carrying pepper spray is a great idea.
Never ever feel guilty for keeping your safety a priority. Sometimes, it might look rude but that’s okay. Your safety should be your prime concern. If you are simply texting each other and things go downhill, you always have the option of blocking and reporting that person. Happy safe dating!
via: Information Nigeria