Based on an online dating report released by kaspersky daily, as many as one-in-three people are dating online. And, are you one of them?
Online dating websites and applications have been used so widely among people at different ages and around the globe that it has been one of the leading ways to meet someone new or interesting.
Unfortunately, risks and dangers are accessible if no protections are done.
Do You Know How Easy It is for You to Meet Risks or Dangers while Using Online Dating Websites or Apps?
The easier they can be used, the easier it is for you to meet risks or dangers while using online dating websites or apps.
The leading online dating risks include identity theft, online harassment, and online dating scams.
If too much of your personal information is left on online dating websites or apps, it’s possible that your information will be abused by someone who use it to hack some of your accounts such as your bank account. You’ll possibly suffer from data leak or data breaches so that your privacy will be compromised.
It’s possible for you meet someone engaging you in a conversation that makes you feel uncomfortable when some topics are deliberately concerned such as sex, politics, religion or illegal activity.
Extortion or Violence
Someone uses online dating service with bad intentions offline such as extortion, physical or psychological violence, etc. Such a situation is extremely dangerous because everything about the other party may be fake or even you are talking with a bot pretending to be a real person and the essential target is for money or violence enjoyment.
Online Dating Scams
Online dating scammers create fake profiles on dating sites and apps or contact their targets through popular social media sites. They aim to establish a relationship with their targets to build their trust, sometimes talking or chatting several times a day. Then, they make up a story and ask for money.
It’s Easy to Protect Yourself on Dating Websites and Apps as long as Some Tips are Remembered.
Everyone hopes to find a match in simple steps but has to be cautious when using online dating websites or apps. The following tips can be learned to protect from online dating risks and dangers.
Before Online Dating
1. Use a Secure Online Dating Service
Now that so many online dating services are available, you should use one that is trustworthy. An online dating safety guide released by ASECURELIFE lists some standards to be used as principles to judge whether an online dating service is secure or not, which is summarized in the image below.
Unfortunately, no online dating websites or apps can really stop against fraud away from their users. Therefore, you should be still 100% cautious as you use an online dating service that is reported to be secure and reliable.
2. Use a Temporary Phone Number to Register an Account on Online Dating Websites or Apps
Your private phone number is the direct way to get you and too much of your personal information has been linked with your phone number. To protect yourself from bad intentions, it’s secure to use a temporary number to register your account as you use the online dating service. Another advantage of a temporary number can be also seen when you use it for contact as you get ready to move forwards with your online dating partner, that is, to meet offline.
3. Create a Profile Containing Little or No Personal Information
Your online data will be easily leaked or breached if too much of your personal information is included in your profile on a website or application for online dating. Your identity will be instantly recognized by prying eyes on the Internet through a brief sketch consisted by your personal information pieces. Then, what information can be labeled as personal information? Well, it includes your real full name, home address, job location, contact information, etc.
4. Use a Unique Image in Your Profile for Online Dating
It’s quite easy to track down your online activities when an image is used on the Internet based on Google search through images. If the image you use for online dating has been used in your Instagram or Facebook account, your identity will be easily recognized.
5. Avoid Allowing Your Online Dating Service Get Your Geological Location
Lots of apps can know where exactly you are. It’s secure to stop them from knowing so as to stop anyone having access to your real geological location.
During Online Dating
6. Use the Message System Provided by the Online Dating Service
It might be not so easy to use to send messages through the online dating message system as an instant messaging system such as SMS or Messenger, but it really adds a protection layer to protect your privacy.
7. Avoid Sharing Too Many Details of Your Private Life
Just like the Tip#3, a number of real details of your private life contributes to your real identity and it would be dangerous to expose it on the Internet. However, based on the online dating report released by kaspersky daily, about 25% of online dating users expose their real full names during online dating and about 10% of them share their home addresses and even share their naked photos during online dating. Can you believe it? It’s so horrible!
Post Online Dating – Meeting in a Real World
8. Video Chat with or Call Your Date before Meeting
It’s necessary to have a real communication with your date if you’ve decided to meet in the real world. The video chat or call with your date will, at least, know the date you’re going to meet is not a robot. Moreover, the general situation of him or her will be known so as to avoid unexpected risks.
9. Determine a Public Place for Offline Meeting
Don’t go to the home of any party no matter you’re a man or a woman. Also, avoid going to someplace that is private or secret. Determine a meeting place that is public such as a café, a restaurant, etc.
10. Use Public Transportation or Drive by Yourself
For security consideration, you’d better drive your own car or use public transportation. Never accept a drive-home invitation for your first one or two dates offline. It’s still not a good idea to use Uber.
11. Stay away from Alcohol!
Alcohol is so dangerous even when you don’t have the first offline date. As you determine a place to meet each other, a bar is never a good choice. Always keep clear during the whole process of meeting your date.
Online dating shouldn’t be avoided because it’s been a leading way to find love and it works.
You should learn about some useful tips to protect yourself against any possible risk during online dating such as extortion, online dating scams, etc.