Valentine’s day is coming up! As all the couples are hassling around to get their significant ones some gifts, you don’t need to feel bad if you haven’t got a date (yet). “Swipe right” and you might get one immediately! Nobody can deny that online dating has become a convenient way to meet people, for all genders and preferences. But deep down there has always been a concern – is it safe? We’ve heard news like scammers take advantage of love-seekers, misappropriation of images on porn sites, creepy stalker spying on some girl through webcam, etc.
So we’ve prepared 7 security tips for you to date online safely on the valentine’s day and always, and meet your Mr./Ms. right without worries!
First of all, let’s look into your profile or create one if you haven’t had one.
Tip 1 Don’t reveal your real name
Don’t use your real name as your username, or put last name on the profile. Don’t even rush in to share your last name during online chatting or the first few dates. You surely don’t want people to Google your life before they actually know you.
Tip 2 Don’t put up personal information
Don’t put any of your personal information on the profile, such as phone number, address, even the neighborhood you live in. We believe that there are very few bad guys out there, but any stalking behaviors can make your life miserable.
Tip 3 Use a different set of photos
Create a different set of photos from your social media. If you used the same photo you put on Facebook or Instagram, by Google’s image search, people could easily track you down and explore your life stories before you want them to.
After you’ve selected some people that you would like to have more interactions and possibly meet them in person, you may use messaging apps or social networks to know more about each other. (Which messaging app you should use to protect your privacy?)
Tip 4 Use a secondary email
Use a secondary email, but not your primary or work email, to correspond with your potential date(s) to prevent any sneaky activities.
Tip 5 Don’t share your social media
Before meeting them a few times, don’t friend them on Facebook. If you really want to do so, check Facebook’s privacy setting and cautiously share selected information to specific groups of people.
Tip 6 Webcam Protection
Some people like to video chat before meeting in person just to make sure that the person is the same as the profile shows on the dating app. Webcam can be easily used for malicious and creepy action. You can turn on your webcam protection built in 360 Total Security or tape it over until you need to chat.
Tip 7 Turn off location sharing
Most of the dating apps have the function to locate someone near you. It could be useful but also exposes your location to strangers all the time. Always remember to turn “location sharing” off when you are not looking for someone nearby.
(Here’s a bonus tip. What if you want to find someone NOT nearby? Try to install a VPN on your phone, virtually switch your location with the app, and see what you can find! )
Eventually you are heading to this sweet date. These would be the same old advices that your mom would’ve already told you, such as meeting in a busy coffee shop during the daytime, going home by yourself, or bringing a pepper spray, so we don’t have to say no more.
Online dating is easy, and gives people more opportunities to meet their special ones. Even though there are risks, as long as we keep cautious and follow these tips, online dating can be fun and safe.