New to Tinder? Here’s How to Protect Your Privacy
By Space Coast Daily // May 8, 2020
Have you joined the millions of online daters in search of love with the help of technology? Then, no doubt, you have already encountered the exciting and nerve-wracking experience of finding your way through online matchmaking.
Today, over 30% of Americans have resorted to online dating, making it a fast-growing and lucrative industry worth over $900 million.
Tinder, in particular, claims for a whopping 30 billion matches and leads the online dating industry as the most popular dating site.
However, despite its tremendous popularity, there are countless ways your personal safety could be threatened while using Tinder.
For instance, you could face an account hacking or data mining, and could even inadvertently compromise your privacy through third-party data sharing by Tinder itself.
Data breaches and deliberate data leaks are also common in the online dating industry. In 2018, Tinder faced a massive data breach that compromised photos of 70,000 female users and earlier this year was accused of deliberately exposing user data to advertisers. But that’s not all, you could even become a victim of fraudsters and stalkers.
However, despite all these safety risks, there are steps you can take to protect yourself and create a safe online dating experience.
While permanently deleting your dating profile is the safest way to protect your privacy, you can also take safety precautions to minimize the risks of making yourself vulnerable.
To find out how to delete Tinder profile data, you can visit the Settings options in your account. And to explore the best precautionary measures in case you prefer to keep your profile, here are the 4 most essential steps to minimize any threats on Tinder.
1. Sharing with caution
There are a range of personal data you could end up unwittingly sharing on Tinder that could put you at significant risk.
Personal information such as your name, location, and social profiles that are used to set up your dating profile could provide Tinder with access to much more data than you may think.
Tinder could use all these data to provide you with matching partners, while also sharing them with third-parties unknown to you. Therefore, refrain from linking your social profiles, disclosing your exact location, and giving out your full name. Use a nickname where possible and set up a separate Gmail account for safe login.
Also, avoid sharing other personal data such as your workplace or photos with friends and family. These will all help identify and link to other personal information available online such as your Facebook profile.
Use a profile photo that you haven’t used on any other online platform since a reverse image search could easily help anyone trace it to its original location.
Moreover, ensure that you read and familiarize yourself with Tinder’s data privacy and data sharing policies so you clearly understand what type of information could be compromised and how.
2. Safe communications
Once you find someone you like, it’s important to practice caution until you get to know them better. Criminals, stalkers and even bots could easily hide behind a fake profile and converse with you.
And according to one study, 80% of people lie on online dating sites, although most are likely harmless white lies. Nevertheless, identifying these is important to safeguard yourself from potential danger.
One of the first steps to take once you find a match is to cross-check their dating profile details. You can perform a reverse search using their name or contact number and scan their social media profiles.
Use extra precautions as you start communicating with them and avoid disclosing your personal email addresses, phone numbers or social media accounts.
Use Tinder’s messaging service at the beginning and use a burner phone with a temporary number. And check for any red flags during these conversations such as details that are contradicting or vague.
Allow your natural instincts to guide you. Be cautious if you feel uncomfortable or suspicious and if you think they are being disrespectful, ask too many personal details or are in a hurry to meet. Avoid giving out specific identifiable information and limit conversations to general topics instead.
If you feel uncomfortable at any point, put an end to the conversation. And if you think that your safety is threatened due to any reason, you can even choose to report to Tinder.
3. Ensuring account safety
Protecting your account from any potential threats is another important step to protect your data. This is why using a strong password is essential. However, avoid saving it in your browser or writing it down and use a secure password manager instead to log in to your account safely whenever necessary.
Ensuring the safety of your browser could also prevent unauthorized tracking and access to your Tinder account. Periodically delete your browser history and cache and turn on the Do Not Track feature.
Also, ensure that you log off from your account if you are in the habit of using several devices and keep your devices password-protected.
Public Wi-Fi could also compromise your security as it could allow hackers to monitor your online activities easily and to gain access to your Tinder Account. Therefore, if you need to log in to your profile while in a public place, always open up a hotspot using your mobile network.
4. Preparing for a safe first date
There are several steps to follow to ensure a safe dating experience with your Tinder match. Always select a public location with plenty of people around, and share details about your date with your family or a close friend.
Decide when you will call it a night and keep someone close informed of when you are expected back.
Avoid any last-minute changes or going to another venue. Again, keep conversations to general topics and interests, avoid sharing personal information, and take time to get to know each other. Watch out for any telltale signs such as intrusive questions and vague information.
With the right safety measures, online dating sites could be a fun and effective place to meet that special person. Therefore, practice these essential steps to keep yourself protected and find love on Tinder.
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