A few decades ago, engagements between love companions were impossible without physical availability. This has immensely changed since the introduction of the first online dating site in 1990. People find it easier to find companionship and love and connect with new people via online dating apps.
However, with the fact that you’re meeting new people, there are instances when you can put yourself at risk. How? Remember, you’ll be sharing personal information with people you don’t know much about their background.
And yes, many people have been scammed, found themselves on fake dating sites and apps, catfished (engaged with fake profiles), harassed, and stalked.
Thus, besides finding a partner, put yourself out there risk-free. Here are some challenges encountered using dating apps and correspondence tips to ensure safe online dates.
Challenges of Using Dating Apps
Besides getting your love counterpart online, there are potential heartbreaks and being ghosted, among other risks. Common threats include:
Online Engagements Scams
Also referred to as romance fraud, dating app scams, or romance scams, online engagement scams are a more frequent challenge you’ll encounter in-app dating.
Sometimes, your vibes will flow very well with the to-be partner you find through the app. This convinces you that you’ve found the perfect connection you need.
While it may be a genuine match, scammers are taking advantage of this. They manipulate and groom you for some time (even three months) to grab your trust and get what they are after.
Some will ask for a particular favor or money from you; others ultimately need your personal info for their illegitimate businesses.
Catfishing/ Engagements with Fake Profiles
This is another challenge to be cautious about in your online dating journey. The high increment of these apps comes with an estimated one fake account in ten.
The makers of these fake profiles have reasons to do this. Some are after marketing and selling their products, starting a relationship without displaying their real identities (catfishing), and, at worst, taking your money.
This is the game in online dating; you’ll receive explicit messages and photos you’ve not asked for. To some extent, there are reported cases of physical harm, especially to 18 to 34 aged women.
Safety Tips Using Dating Apps
Don’t Share Everything About Yourself on Dating Apps
While it’s the case to share your personal information with the other person, be on guard not to share unique details. Why? Some of your data is used by hackers and scammers to predict passwords or send you phishing emails.
Thus, be cautious about sharing details such as date of birth, last name, place of work, contact info, social media accounts, schools you visited, etc.
Use a Different Photo. Not Used on Other Platforms
You might ask yourself, I want to find my ideal match, so why not use an identifiable photo on other platforms? As stated earlier, you’re not aware of genuine people and scammers.
And in case you happen to engage with a scammer and you’ve used the same image in the dating app as other platforms, there is a danger of viral usage of your accounts.
How? Through reverse image, a scammer googles your Profile, and if the same Profile is across all your social platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook, they’ll quickly gather your information.
Some will research your whereabouts and claim they’ve met you at some point, proving this by providing info gathered. While some information may be incorrect, you might gain their trust and strike deals.
Use your Nickname
While we don’t recommend you to lie to the engaging partner about who you are – but perhaps yes when sharing your name. Sometimes you may want to use fake names, especially at the beginning of dating. Ideally, your name can give out many details about you if one googled – this is what we’re avoiding.
Besides, upon getting your best match, you can share your official name physically or through a chat.
Don’t Allow App Permissions on the Location When not Using the App
Dating apps require location permission to match you with geographical vicinity partners. Some won’t allow you to turn off the location on your device.
However, opt to share location preferences only when accessing the app for security concerns to ensure location won’t run in the background when not active in the dating site/app.
Use a Reputable Site/App
More and more dating apps and sites are available on the internet. Don’t just pick any; after all, you’re not desperate to find a partner. Conduct research and read reviews from other beneficiaries. You can also ask for recommendations from friends and relatives who’ve used any apps.
In the end, choose a well-known app that guarantees confidentiality and security.
Don’t Rush to Other Chat Apps – Converse Within the Dating App
Whoa! You found your match. And now you feel it’s time to exchange contacts to ease conversation in WhatsApp, text messages, and calls. Wait a bit longer, especially if the partner is initiating this. Scammers can use your number for identity theft and other evil behaviors.
Besides, if it becomes necessary to use other chat apps, take those that don’t need your phone numbers, like Discord, Skype, or Telegram.
Report any Harassments
Don’t ever be afraid to report illegal behaviors you notice from your dating prospect. All reputable apps advocate for this. You can block someone from interacting with you if you feel insecure and harassed.
If an individual asks for money or details beyond your privacy, immediately contact the dating app support team.
Erase your Profile if you’re Done Dating
If you’re not using the dating app anymore, maybe you found your match or are just done with engagements, erase your Profile and sign out of the platform.
While some apps don’t have the option to delete an account, you can fill in false information that never exists. You’ll do this, especially when your account appears on other people’s feeds, yet you stopped using the app.
Nevertheless, it’s possible to delete an account on many common dating apps.
Using Dating Apps Safely – Conclusion
At a certain point, you’ll want to date someone, maybe to achieve a goal, find companionship, or learn the other gender’s instincts, among other reasons. Always prioritize safety if you are using dating apps that have helped many get ideal partners.
Of course, there are genuine engagements, but applying safety tips such as those discussed above does no harm to you.