When you put information out there online, even on dating sites, you never know where that info might end up and who might get a hold of it. Both personally and through my company MyLife, I am always thinking about how people can keep themselves safe online. With that said, here are some guidelines for walking the fine line between letting others get a sense of who you are, and staying safe. That way, you can safely participate in online dating.
Not too much personal info upfront
Your location, your job, your birth date, even where you went to college… this information really doesn’t make you that much more appealing. But it does make you vulnerable to scam artists. Not only are those sensitive pieces of data by themselves, but knowing them can help someone track down information that might be even more personal.
It’s not just your dating profile where you need to be wary, though. It’s important that you avoid giving personal information to matches through chat or messaging before you have met them and determined whether they are trustworthy. For instance, the names of family members or places that you visit frequently are points that can arise as a result of conversation but it’s best to not give out your personal information at first.
Don’t use images from your social media profiles
A common tactic to see if someone is who they say they are is to reverse image search their dating profile pictures. If it comes up on a social media profile like Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, you can confirm that they are who they say they are. Unfortunately, this same tactic can be used for more nefarious purposes: to learn more personal information in order to scam you.
As a result, it’s a better practice to avoid using any images that already exist on your social media. This ensures that no one can access your social media profiles and peek at personal info. In addition, it is usually a better idea to not link social media accounts to dating profiles either, for the same reason.
Don’t use your full name
Another method that you probably use to check out a person before connecting with them is to Google their name. But again, that same tactic can come back to bite you. Especially considering that information with your name might exist elsewhere on the Internet besides your social media profiles. With your full name, a scammer or malicious party will instantly have access to that information. As such, it’s a good call to not put your full name on your profile and not give your full name until after you’ve met the person and know you can trust them.
After all, it’s entirely possible to form a connection without knowing someone’s last name. When you think of it that way, it becomes apparent that it is unnecessary to put that information out there on a dating profile.
These are all important steps you can take to keep your dating profile secure but still present yourself in the best light possible for potential relationships. And if you want to ensure that the people you meet online are trustworthy and are exactly who they say they are, you can always go to MyLife and use our Reputation Scores.
Today, checking up on people you meet online is more important than ever. A study by the international research company, FTI, showed that 45% of Americans admitted making up, exaggerating or lying on their social media profile and 50% admitted the same on their dating profiles. Through looking up people on MyLife combined with an airtight dating profile, we can help make online dating meaningful and safe.