Meeting people online seemed like a terrible idea not so long ago. At most, we would chat with them in chat rooms, without ever providing our phone number or actual location. At least not until we were fairly certain about whether we could trust them.
Skip to 2019 and barely a day goes by when you don’t meet strangers online. Every time you order an Uber, you are getting into a car with someone you haven’t even met yet. The same goes for Airbnb and other convenient apps. However, these apps have protocols in place to ensure you can trust the individual. This is not the case with dating apps.
Dating apps pair you with people nearby. You may be on one of these apps to date or find hookups, but whatever the reason, you have no guarantee you can trust anyone you meet.
That said, you’re probably using dating apps regardless. The alternative is going back to meeting people in a more haphazard and less immediate way. You can find out how to get unbanned from Omegle if you do long for the days of chat roulette.
Alternatively, take these precautions.
Use A VPN
You should be using a VPN at all times, but especially when you are on a dating app. The unfortunate reality is that, simply by using one of these apps, you are putting your privacy at risk. You are making yourself vulnerable by showing that you are willing to meet people in the immediate future.
A hacker can find you on Tinder and target you, getting information from your phone that they can then use to gain your trust. Alternatively, they can use that information to blackmail you.
This is particularly important when on a dating app in an oppressive country. Some countries outlaw sex before marriage, or people identifying as LGBTQ. Their governments sometimes use dating apps to track down people breaking these archaic laws.
Turn Off Location Services
Allowing dating apps to use your location gives you the ability to see exactly how close other users are. Many people make decisions based on proximity, especially when it comes to hookups.
Most of us allow the apps on our phones to track us most of the time. But you should be extra careful when it comes to dating apps, which share this information with others, even if it is in a limited way. Any hacker can track you based on your location if they manage to breach the app’s security.
Ideally, your location settings should be strict with all apps. Google doesn’t need to know where you are at every moment of every day. Nor does Facebook. Many sci-fi writers from not so long ago would have imagined this level of surveillance as a dystopia, but we’re willingly giving our privacy away!
The same is true with all privacy settings. You should be careful to use a VPN and not give too much information away no matter what you are doing. However, when it comes to meeting people online, you need to be particularly careful.