The number of people using various online dating services keeps growing by the year. It seems like we’re no longer dealing with the stigma that surrounded the activity not too long ago. Unfortunately, like many things that reach mass exposure, online dating may be problematic when it comes to the security of its users.
When was the last time you were honest when you clicked that “I’ve read the terms and conditions and I accept them” button? For many, it’s become a basic habit to check the box and move on, and it’s alarming to see that pretty much nobody cares about what they’re agreeing to.
Online dating is always tied to a large volume of private, intimate details about each user of the platform. It’s a basic necessity for the service to function in the first place. But it also has some worrying implications that few think about until it’s too late.
You may not want to disclose potentially compromising information about your life to random strangers. And yet, you give various details away when answering a quiz in a dating app. Even if the company itself is honest about how they use your data, they might still fall victim to a data leak. That would end up compromising you and everyone else on their platform. The Ashley Madison security breach may be the most high-profile example of this, but it’s far from the only one.
Another critical issue is that online dating is the perfect environment for predators looking for easy targets. If you’re approached by an attractive stranger of the opposite sex on a regular social media platform, you might get a bit suspicious. But here, you’ll probably think you got lucky and start flirting with them straight away.
Many people still fall victim to scams with fabricated profiles, often with random pictures taken from the internet. It can be hard to tell fake profiles from genuine ones, even if you’re experienced with online dating. The only true protection against these attacks is keeping your guard up. The key is to avoid disclosing any sensitive details about yourself until you’ve spent enough time with your potential partner in person.
Then, there’s also the issue with basic digital security. You should always be wary when using dating apps on an unsecured network, mostly for the reasons we listed above. You don’t know who might be snooping on your connection and what kind of information about you they might find. Some dating apps are also poorly secured in the first place. That is one of the reasons we often see those data leaks we mentioned above, along with other similar problems.
A VPN is a good solution to many of the general security issues. If you’re not familiar with the VPN market yet, it’s a good idea to find out more about these services as soon as possible. The main benefit of using a VPN is that it allows you to keep your online connection secure and private while surfing the web on desktop or mobile device. It shields you from the prying eyes of anyone who might be trying to hack you. It will also let you bypass some regional content restrictions. That’s a great benefit for those who travel and often find themselves cut off from the services that interest them.
Keeping your data safe and secure is not that difficult when you know what kinds of problems you can expect to face in the first place. Online dating is a field that requires you to stay vigilant and keep your eyes open to suspicious signs on a regular basis. But when you approach it the right way, it can be a fun activity that expands your horizons. Just remember its potential to wreak havoc on your life if you start divulging too much information about yourself.