The most important part of finding love online is… well, finding love. But beyond that obvious fact, it’s also worth understanding how the dating sites you use go about protecting your privacy. After all, to find love, you have to put yourself out there, which involves sharing certain pieces of information to allow others to get to know you and gauge their interest. What’s vital in this regard is the ability to maintain control of your information, and we should expect dating sites and apps to have reliable privacy and security features that give us that control.

Pretty much every prominent dating service has basic safety guidelines, but here are a couple of the most important features that you should aim to have control over in your online dating journey:

Freezing/deleting accounts

Maybe you’ve found someone already, or maybe you’re taking a break from online dating. In both cases, it would be a risk to simply leave your account active. Since you’re not there to monitor it, who’s to say whether someone might breach your account or find a way to access your information? The best way to solve this is to either freeze or delete your account.

Deleting your account will naturally remove all information that you’ve put out there. If you’ve already found a significant other and you truly feel that the account is no longer needed, that is the safest route to go. On the other hand, if you feel that you’ll return to the dating service at some point in the future, finding a way to freeze your account can temporarily remove your information. For example, Bumble lets you “snooze” your account, which completely hides your profile but saves information such as previous matches.

Beyond privacy features

Aside from managing your own information, there are also fundamental reasons that people should check on the people that they connect with. According to a report by firm FTI Consulting, more than half of all profiles contain lies — and what naturally follows is that less than 4 in 10 Americans trust the profiles they encounter. After shoring up your privacy features on dating platforms as best as you can, the best thing to do following that would be to use some form of reputation checker, like MyLife, to minimize the risk of interacting with a dubious individual or scammer.

The ability to control your privacy and security when online dating is essential, and users should be mindful and responsible when connecting with others online. The best dating platforms should give you a wide variety of ways to keep yourself protected and safe while finding love. And as stated before, outside services such as MyLife can also provide an extra level of protection and safety by helping you assess whether your match is who they say they are and how reputable they are.