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Tips to Remain Safe and Secure While Online Dating

October 15, 2020

The deadly coronavirus pandemic has negatively affected people in various ways, including causing severe loneliness and solitude for some. But, this could also be the time you’ve been waiting for to finally find “the one”.

People are not going to work; and so they have plenty of time. Most importantly, people have something in common to talk about. There is, however, one problem: the social distancing and isolation directives given by governments in an attempt to stop the spread of the virus has made it impossible for people to find love through the traditional methods. Not to be fret though as there is a solution to this: online dating.

Online dating has seen an upward trend since the start of the lockdown. Match Group, the owner of different dating apps including Tinder, OKCupid, and Hinge has reported to have recorded a 15% increase in new sign-ups over the last quarter.

While it is great for social distancing, online dating is not entirely safe as you are about to realize. Keep reading:

Security Risks of Online Dating

Many online dating apps do not take their security seriously, which leads to user data being breached. An example is what happened to users of OKCupid in 2019 where accounts were hacked and taken over. Other than data breaches, there is also the human element of the problem. Let’s look at some of the risks one has to be careful about when dating online.

Data Breaches

As mentioned above, there have been numerous cases of online dating apps being hacked and user information being compromised. The situation is worse right now because of the increase in the number of people using apps such as Match, Tinder, eHarmony, and Plenty of Fish. Cybercriminals are hacking the dating apps and making user information such as names, credit card information, and addresses, public.

Sextortion

This is another common issue with online dating apps. As you continue to chat with your partner, it reaches a point where you all get comfortable and can even share intimate photos/videos or conversations. Hell breaks loose when your supposed partner threatens to send these photos/videos to your friends or family unless you pay up some money.

How to Date Online Safely

Here are some of the ways to make sure you remain safe while looking for love online.

Keep your Conversations on the App

You will be able to tell that someone is a scammer by how eager they are to get off the platform. But, be careful as getting off the app means there will be no extra help in case things go wrong. Also, apps come with safety features that may not be available on your phone.

Video chat cautiously 

Although video chatting is a good step to take before meeting up in person, you should also be aware of the risks. Do not remove your clothing or perform any sexual acts during video calls to prevent falling victim to this kind of scam.

Use a VPN

The first thing you need to consider if you really want to be safe while dating online is to make sure your digital footprint is limited. And, to do that, you need to download a VPN app that will hide your IP address and ensure privacy.

People have been using dating apps to find love for a long time now, but the demand is currently high due to the coronavirus guidelines of social distancing and isolation. It is a tool that can come in handy when the traditional methods of finding “the one´ are not working. But, you need to be careful not to fall victim to the above-named threats.