Tinder, like any social media platform, can be fun to use, but every swipe right comes with a risk.
Online dating apps, which are typically used with the intent to meet your matches in real life after you meet them online, have had their fair share of bad press. Young men and women have been stalked or assaulted by their online dates, despite deeming them trustworthy enough to confide in virtually or meet in real life.
Here are a few tips to help you stay safe while you swipe, both in real life and online.
1. Keep Your Social Media Profiles Private
Have you ever tried to learn more about your match with Google or Facebook? You’re not the only one.
The information you put on your profile can make it really easy for people to find you on social media. Your pictures can be reverse image searched to find every usage of that photo on the web. From there, it’s a simple dig into your posts to find out where you spend time and what your hobbies are.
2. Avoiding Using Photos Of Your Kids
This is a common mistake that parents make. According to a new study by MummyPages.co.uk, 71% of single dads who use Tinder have photos of kids on their profile, while 24% of single moms admitted to including photos of their kids on their Tinder profile.
You might assume that including photos of your kids will either increase your number of matches or be an easy way to show that your kids come as a packaged deal. However, there are many predators on the web that use social media and dating websites to target children.
Try updating your profile with the types of photos that are proven to capture the interest of potential matches, like photos of you in nature or with a furry pet.
3. Don’t Disclose Personal Information
The information you put on your profile can make it easy for people to find you in real life. Tinder, as well as other dating apps, allow you to control what information others see. You can hide your place of employment and school, which can help you maintain your privacy.
4. Digitally Stalk Your Match
A quick reverse image search of your match’s photos can help connect them to real social media accounts or prove that they are using someone else’s photos to catfish their date. When dating online, it’s your responsibility to gauge the trustworthiness of your match, and finding them online can help you learn more about them.
Tinder’s website comes with a clear warning for users: “We don’t conduct criminal background checks on our users, so it’s up to you to do your own research and remain cautious.”
You can also use a public records search service like Truthfinderto create a comprehensive background report on your date to find things like known aliases, social media profiles, and criminal records.
5. Meet In A Public Place
Always choose to meet your date in a populated, public place, like a coffee shop. Never meet them in a private or remote location. Meeting in public allows you to be in control of your own transportation and avoid entering a stranger’s car.
6. Let Your Friends Know Where You Are
Before you head to your date, let a friend know where you are going and who you are going with. If possible, ask them to call or text you after a certain amount of time so they can make sure that you are safe. Create a safe word or phrase that you can use to signal any distress. It’s never a bad idea to be overcautious.