You’ve met someone attractive online through one of the many dating apps, now what? The thought of falling in love (or finding the ideal hook-up partner) enraptures you. So you go on a date. It goes well.
But afterward, you notice a car sitting outside your home, and your inbox fills with missed calls – you’ve gone on a date with a psycho. And your once-attractive date goes on to ruin your life. It may sound like an outrageous horror story, but it happens.
The moral of the horrible-but-realistic tale? You need to keep yourself safe from online weirdos and psychos. How? Let’s take a look at the do’s and don’ts of how to protect yourself and your privacy on dating apps.
Don’t Give Away All Your Personal Information
Even if you don’t include your personal information on the dating app, your potential partner can still find your social media pages, which may lead to your workplace or blog. And the more they know, the easier it is to dig up personal information.
Side note: avoid giving away personal information on dating apps or to anyone who demands it via telephone. It may increase your chances of experiencing identity theft.
It’s super easy to use a phone number to find your home address, too!
To sum it up: Don’t add your phone number or super personal information to your social media pages or dating app profile. The more someone knows, the easier it is to find you.
Do Use The In-App Chat Or Email
Stick to chatting on the dating app! It may not be the most ideal, but you don’t want to give away your number until you know your recipient better. Not into chatting on the dating app? Go old school and use email. You can create a separate email account just for chatting with potential partners.
Do Use A Google Phone Number
Despise the thought of chatting with someone via email? Use a Google phone number via Google Voice. It’s safe, free to set up, and allows you to text without giving away your real phone number. Google says that “you can link your number to any mobile or landline number.” It’s also compatible with computers, iPhones and iPads, and Android devices.
It sounds like a pretty good alternative, doesn’t it?
Do Create Another Skype Account
Before you go on a grande escapade with your date, it’s advised to set up a Skype date! This way you can see if your date is who they say they are. It can also help you to see if there’s potential for compatibility. Word of advice: don’t use your regular Skype account. Create a separate account for chatting with people you’ve met online.
Do Add A Unique Photo
It’s super easy for someone to find your social media pages through a reverse photo search. Therefore, it’s best to avoid loading images that you use on social media. Try to separate the photos you use for your dating app from your social media pages.
Don’t Ignore Your Instincts
What does your gut say? Your mind and heart may be living in la-la love land, but don’t neglect your instincts. You can always ask yourself these questions:
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it’s best to end communication with your potential partner! Whether you answered yes or no, it’s still important to make sure your date isn’t a sketchy person.
How? Research your new date online. If you don’t, you may find yourself in a scenario like the one mentioned in this article’s introduction. Do you want to avoid going on a date with someone who has a history of excessive stalking and restraining orders? Yes! Yes, you do. You need to check up on a potential date.
Do Perform A Dating Background Check
Thankfully, you can get to know your partner by performing a dating background check. You may be wondering how to do a background check on someone you are dating? Here’s how:
A dating background check will help to give you some relief when it comes to online dating. However, it’s still important to pay attention to your instincts and to ask yourself the questions mentioned above.
Do Install Safety Apps
Protect yourself by installing safety apps that have easy-to-access emergency buttons. One app like Watch Over Me asks you to detail your activity and how long it will take. If you fail to check-in at the time you mentioned, the app will send an alert to your contacts. Other notable apps include BSafe and Noonlight (previously known as SafeTrek).
Even if you answered no to all of the questions listed above, and your potential date passed the background dating check, it’s still crucial to install a safety app.
Some people find the love of their life via online dating apps, while others encounter horrific situations. Be diligent and smart, and check up on a potential date before you meet up. If anything, keep this cliché phrase in mind: it’s better to be safe than sorry.