How to Safely Use Dating Apps
Most people tell small lies or embellish their profiles.
Having a clear understanding of dating apps is helpful regardless of whether you are new to them or you consider yourself a "seasoned professional." This includes the reasons people use them, the degree to which users are honest, and how to choose the best app for your needs. Here is some info about that and, most importantly, how to use dating apps safely.
According to a recent study, most people tell small lies or embellish their profiles. Many men are off about their height, and women – their weight. However, most incidents of lying are minor compared to catfishing and more extreme types. Still, it pays off to do a free people search on a dating app user you're considering meeting in real life.
Why do people use dating apps?
People use dating apps for one or more of the following reasons:
- Building friendships
- Finding sexual partners
- Finding a romantic partner
- Self-improvement and self-validation
- Entertainment and curiosity
How to choose the best platform for your needs
It can be confusing to compare apps and read reviews when it comes to choosing the best one. Options and features vary and are constantly changing as the app is modified by developers. Here are a few simple steps to differentiate the bad from the good.
Look at safety features
With so many unknown factors, online dating can have a dark side. The best apps publish safety guidelines on the registration page. If this isn't the case or the guidelines are hard to find, you're better off looking elsewhere.
Blocking and reporting
The most important safety feature is this because you're bound to come across someone who behaves inappropriately. You want to stop them from contacting you if this happens. If the app doesn't offer a way to report inappropriate messages or stop people from sending you messages, it's best avoided.
Control your visibility
The app should make it possible to control your profile's visibility. The best apps provide multiple ways to secure your profile. The fewer available ways, the more exposed your personal data is online.
Messaging only after matching
Some dating apps let users send each other messages before matching, with less-than-desirable results most of the time. Creepy messages and unwanted photos are just two risks. Before messaging can take place, both people should have an interest.
Control over location
Many apps will ask for your location to find matches near you. However, you should be able to exercise some control over this setting. Avoid apps that narrow your location down to a specific neighborhood.
Look for free versions and trials
You should be able to test the dating app before you decide whether to pay for a membership. Apps can get expensive if you're paying $15 to $20 a month. Plus, there's no use paying for something that doesn't work for you.
Be careful with apps that link to social networks
Many apps let people share data from their social network accounts, which isn't necessarily harmful. However, this could leave your dating profile overly exposed. You don't know who is looking at it, and giving them access to what you post on social media can be risky, especially if you post photos of your relatives or where you spend your free time.
It's best to keep information like where you work and where you went to school private. If it's public, people you've blocked on the dating app can still find you.
Use a unique profile picture
Don't use the same picture on your dating profile and your social media. It's simple and straightforward to do a reverse image search, and then anyone can find your social media accounts.
Don't provide personal data
Don't use your real name, nickname, social media handles, or contact information on your dating profile. Keep personal data down to a minimum. Not everyone on a dating site can be trusted, and they shouldn't have your personal info.
For additional protection, tighten your social media security. You can adjust your settings on Facebook so only friends can view your page, not "friends of friends."
Don't go off the app
Before you meet someone in real life, don't go off the dating platform. This can be inconvenient, but you don't want them to have your phone number if something doesn't work out. The dating platform provides an extra layer of security and protection. Some platforms' messaging systems don't let people exchange links or photos, which keeps you safe from unwanted images or other information.
Meeting in person
If you are going to meet someone, choose a public place and arrange transport. Don't tell them where you live. Tell a close friend where you are going and when you're coming home.