Staying safe online is hard. It gets harder every day. Billions of people use the internet worldwide; millions use it for unethical purposes. Some are even using it to commit serious crimes online. It’s all bread and butter while you think nothing will happen to you. At the same time, you sit back in the comfortable chair made out of false safety. Online dating sites are a common target of internet criminals. According to the experts from this site more than 10% of online dating profiles are fake even when more trusted dating sites weed out the fraudsters by offering a subscription service.
Taking care of your privacy and data you share online shouldn’t be taken lightly. To avoid very uncomfortable surprises, follow the rules for online safety below.
Use different photos for your dating profile
A big percent of people still use the same photo for every social media and dating profile. It’s even worse when that is the only photo on their profiles. Using different photos for your dating profile might save you from a lot of potential threats. How?
Using only one photo on your dating profile makes you an easy target. Anybody can take that photo and make a fake profile with your name and photo or just photo. Some people might use it for innocent pranks, but some might get you in big trouble. To avoid that use more than one photo on your dating profile.
Avoid connecting with suspicious profiles
If you feel like something is wrong about the profile trying to connect with you, don’t connect with it. Don’t answer any messages. Just let them be if you’re certain that profile is a fake block and report it. By doing that, you’ll protect yourself and make admins check if it is a real profile. That helps to keep the online dating community healthy.
What makes a dating profile suspicious?
- Having just 1 photo
- Lack of information (compared to other profiles on that site)
- Sending cold messages that look like they’ve been sent to thousands of users
Sometimes you’ll feel it in your gut. With so many people dating online, you’ll easily meet somebody else, somebody harmful and real. As soon as somebody starts being suspicious, it’s best to stop any communication.
Block and report suspicious users
You can go one step further than stopping any communication or not connecting to a suspicious profile. If they won’t leave you alone or they look dangerous in any way – block & report them. By doing that, you’ll make sure they can’t contact you again on that dating site. You’ll protect other potential victims too because admins will have to check your report.
If you think that one report won’t make a difference, you’re right. But fake profiles usually contact hundreds of people. That earns them a decent number of reports, so admins seek them and banish them from the site.
Wait to Share Personal Information
Sometimes you’ll feel like you know the person you just met online for ages. That’s an amazing feeling. You won’t get closer to love at first sight in the world of online dating. Still, feeling the chemistry after the first couple of messages doesn’t mean you should share all your info right away.
There is some information you should never share like:
- Social security number
- Credit cards information
- Photos of your identification documents (IDs, passports, driving licenses, etc.)
- Passwords in general
New technology to protect you online (Artificial Intelligence)
You don’t have to be afraid to use online services, online dating included. If you’ve been unaware of dangers you can stumble upon online; this article might look scary. But as long as you follow the rules for online safety, we mentioned you should be fine.
One more thing will make you feel more relaxed while seeking dates – serious online dating sites use Artificial Intelligence software to scan their sites for fake profiles. That means you’ll have some extra protection on reliable dating sites.
It’s impossible to avoid the internet today, but now you know how to stay safe online. Never let your guard down and use trustworthy sites.