The success of online dating has skyrocketed over the past several years as compared to where it originally started. Dating apps and websites have in fact given individuals a convenient new way of connecting with others.
But with this ease of use some new problems come up, especially in the form of safety. Interacting with strangers online, for example, can put you at risk for identity theft, online harassment, stalking, abuse of digital dating, catfishing and other scams. And if you decide to meet someone you met online "in real life" (IRL), there's also a chance you might find yourself in physical danger, too.
We have compiled a list of important facts about online dating to make navigating the online dating scene a little easier and more secure. We have also put together some tips for selecting the best app for you and included keys for staying safe in the world of online dating.
Whether you're new to online dating, or you're considering yourself a pro, it helps you get a clear understanding of what dating apps offer including how often others use them, how others view them, and even how honest people are when building their profiles.
Choosing the Best Dating App for You
When selecting the best online dating app for you, reading reviews and comparing apps can be confusing, especially when features and options not only vary widely but are constantly changing as developers change and improve apps And with more than 7,500 dating apps around the world, there are definitely plenty to choose from. But, it needn't be overwhelming. Follow these few simple steps to help you find the most appropriate app for you.
Check the safety features
Online dating can be a risky endeavour, because so many unknowns exist. So, you want to make sure the app you select has some built-in security features. Ideally, the app's sign-up page will promote its safety guidelines. But if they don't, or if the safety guidelines are particularly difficult to find, then you might want to find another app.
Check Reporting and Blocking Functions
Let's face it, you're going to meet a few weirdos along the way when it comes to online dating-people who either crawl you out or are just toxic. You want to be able to report their behavior when this happens and also block them from contacting you. For this reason, it is important to know firsthand how these features are provided by the app. And, if there are no reporting or blocking features for some reason then proceed to the next app.
Stay safe while using Apps for Dating
While you're never to blame when someone in the online dating world is behaving in a predatory or disrespectful manner towards you, there are things you can do to stay safe. Here are some useful safety tips that you can immediately put into practice to help you be more mindful.
Use a unique photograph
while using the same photo you have on your social media accounts when developing your dating profile. If you're using the same photo as your Facebook photo or your Instagram page, doing a reverse image search with Google is completely easy for someone. As a result, it's much easier for someone to find you on social media if you use the same photo on all of your accounts.
Leave the personal details out
While creating your online dating profile, make sure that you do not include your last name, contact details, nicknames or handles on social media. You want to keep a minimum of the personal details. After all, if you come across someone on the creepy side that is a little bit, you don't want them to have too much information about you.
You might even want to tighten the security on your social media accounts to add another protective layer. On Facebook for example, change your profile to where everything is private and only "Friends" can access it, not "Friends of Friends."
Stay Within The App
If you're posting a potential date, or even after a few dates, it's best to communicate within the app to each other. Even though this may be inconvenient, if something doesn't work out, you don't have to worry about having your cell number on the person.
What's more, staying within the app gives you an extra layer of protection. Some messaging systems with dating apps do not allow people to send photos or links, which can actually reduce the number of unwanted photos that you are getting.
Take precautions when you meet
Do not let anyone know exactly where you live. Instead, make arrangements to meet at a public place and provide your own transport. You should also let a close friend know where you are going to be, and when you are going to be home. If anything goes wrong you want your friends to know as much information as possible.
Once you have arrived on your date, be sure to remain alert and aware. Don't leave your drink unattended and keep short of the first few dates. You may even want to bring with you a self-defense device like pepper spray, or a high-powered flashlight. Then, if the person you meet makes you uncomfortable or afraid, enlist a friend's support to escape the situation. Also, never feel bad about putting health first. Even if you've got to do something rude to avoid a situation, make sure you're safe.