Lately, I’ve been writing a series of blogs about the various aspects of online dating, including the drawbacks and risks involved, as you search for love on the internet.
I’ve also done a lot of research into some of the things you can do to make your online experience less risky, especially when it comes to privacy and safety.
Here’s just a few suggestions to assist you on your way to, hopefully, a long-lasting romance:
Be careful to reveal certain info about yourself slowly and cautiously until you know more about your prospective online partner.
You might want to let someone have access to personal information, like your phone number, age, education, career history, where you work, where you live, your kids, drinking/drug behavior, income, religion, ethnicity, those special things you like to do, and the places you like to go – only when you feel it’s safe to do so.
Your Profile Photos
Like other online information, your personal photos are something to be concerned about, for a few reasons.
- The photos you upload may not even be owned by the particular dating service, which could cause you problems down the line. It’s almost impossible to know who’ll use them, or where they’ll eventually pop up.
- You need to take extra care when posting your photos on your profile, because others may want to use it for less-than-honorable purposes. A lot of times, there might be some extra data attached to your photo. You may want to scan your photo first, before you post it, by removing any extraneous data connected to your photo which could be used against you – even in a court of law!
- Also, like written content, your photos don’t just go away, even when you cancel a dating service. If you’re in the habit (hope you’re not) of posting suggestive pics on your dating profile, there’s no guarantee that these photos won’t appear somewhere else on the internet.
So, be vigilant and prudent when it comes to which photos you post and how you post them on a dating site – it just might save your reputation.
Read Their Policy First!
Always read your dating site’s particular policy with regards to privacy, security, and general terms of service.
And here’s some questions to ask yourself about the particular dating service you choose:
Is there a user-friendly way to contact the service?
Are they open about who may be sharing your personal data?
Do they back up their research with verifiable facts?
And, most importantly,
Will they delete your info if you decide to close your account?
Your Personal Info
Don’t ever believe that what you say or write online will be easily removed, if at all. What you say about yourself on the internet, and this includes dating sites, will remain there and be made permanent, usually in just a matter of minutes.
Not only that, the likelihood that your personal info will always be accessible to you, and that you’ll always have control over it, is, well, just wishful thinking. Once an online dating service has your info, it’s most likely theirs for good – or bad, as the case may be.
If you think the dating site is misusing your personal data, like creating fake profiles to draw you in (and some of them do), be assertive and contact them, ASAP.
You may even want to file a complaint with the proper authorities, like some of the federal and state regulatory agencies.
Stand up for your rights, and let somebody know!
A Grain of Salt
Although a lot of how online dating companies really operate is somewhat out of your control (they guard their secrets well), it’s still a good thing to have a basic awareness when it comes to the way these business typically operate.
You might want to take their often wild assertions, especially those lofty scientific claims and confident predictions of future love success, with a very large grain of salt.
As I once heard a fellow online blogger remark, “Courtship may not be a completely honest process, but this should not apply to the company that’s taking your personal information and your hard-earned money.”
So, be conscious and careful out there on the Web.
Like any organization you may want to do business with, and this especially applies to dating services, choose wisely and consciously. You deserve to go into online dating with every possible advantage. After all, it’s your future we’re talking about here!
By lowering your risk, and upping your online safety, your odds of finding love on the internet will only increase.
So all the best to you on your quest – you deserve it!
If you have any other ideas or suggestions regarding possible risks and safety on dating sites, please leave your comments below – your feedback is appreciated!