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Can You Feel Completely Safe When Using Dating Apps?

-- Friday, June 14, 2019
Finding love has never been easier thanks to online dating, some would say. What are the perfect ingredients for finding the love of your life? Well, just a smartphone will do. In recent years, dating apps have been the frontrunners in the matchmaking process. Many have found love by using these apps, and many are yet to find it. However, can everything be that easy? Can dating apps be harmful and risky to use? Let’s find out.

How Can Dating Apps Be Harmful?

To find the perfect match, one has to add certain information to their profiles. Among other things, this includes location, name, occupation, place of work, hobbies, etc. All of that seems just normal because you need to put some information out there to find a compatible person. However, since everything is digital and basically untouchable, there is always room for exploitation. Here are a couple of methods that scammers use to trick users:
  • ● Fake Profiles
  • ● Extortion
  • ● Superuser Rights
  • ● Personal Data Misuse
Personal Data Protection

Fake profiles have been here since the Myspace era. Many people who like to create fake profiles to spy on other people or to simply mislead users into thinking they are a different person. The modern term for this type of action is "catfishing." Some people do this because of loneliness. However, some do it for malicious reasons.

Malicious people will always find a way to misuse information from users' profiles. The most common method of abusing one's data is extortion. We all know by now that people also like to share intimate photos with their significant others. Someone can create a fake profile, entice someone into thinking they’re talking to the love of their life, and ask for sensitive photos. Then, they threaten to publish them online unless the user pays a certain amount of money. This happens way more often than one might think.

Superuser access is the ability to make unrestricted system-wide changes. Someone can get such rights for almost any app they have on their phones simply by rooting their phone and installing an app. Android-based devices are the most susceptible to this flaw. With superuser rights, one can easily access confidential information a user had previously left when signing up for an app; hence the room for exploitation.

When it comes to personal data misuse, there are so many different ways a stranger could take advantage of previously gained personal information. They can extort you, drain your credit cards, or simply sell it on the dark market.

How You Can Protect Yourself

Now, don't feel hopeless. Even though there are many risks to using dating apps, if a user takes certain precautionary measures, they’ll be safe. There are plenty of ways to stay safe during one’s quest to find true love. Here's what users can do to ensure their safety:

● Don't Give Out Too Much Information

Users shouldn't overshare personal information on their dating profiles. Of course, some information has to be given out – they are looking for compatible people after all. However, users should never mention the exact place they live in, they shouldn’t give out their phone numbers to everyone, and they shouldn't reveal their place of work. Instead, they can just give vague information to begin with. Then, as their online relationships progress and the trust is built, they can slowly give out more information to their "loved one." Perhaps waiting until they meet the person in real life and seeing what they're about is the smart thing to do before giving out any personal details at all.

● Use a VPN

Many studies have shown that dating apps don't handle users' sensitive information with care. Therefore, using a VPN service would be smart. VPN will disguise your current location and make things much more difficult for scammers. It works the same across all digital devices. Regardless of whether you're looking for a VPN for your iPhone or Android, make sure to use a legitimate provider, and you'll be good-to-go.

● Install Security Solutions

Besides using a VPN, there are more safety measures users should look into to ensure maximum security. Many cybersecurity companies offer various security solutions that will make users' online dating journey even safer. Such solutions will safeguard your identity, block infected files, and prevent cyberattacks. Find a reliable antivirus app for your phone, and set up a firewall as well. As they say, better safe than sorry.

Install Security Settings

Even though the risks of online dating can be high, the reward is even higher if someone manages to find their true love online while remaining safe. Don’t be scared to try. Just make sure to take proper safety measures before embarking on this crazy journey. Be careful, be diligent with your information, and don't give up. Your perfect someone is out there waiting to be found.

Ivy Bruce

Ivy Bruce is the Founder and Editorial Director at Recovery-Android Studio. You can also find her on Google+ and Twitter.