Dangers of Dating Websites
Dating online is starting to be the norm for many busy professionals. No one seems to have the time to meet anyone organically anymore. Dating websites make it so easy and simple to find your one true love or whatever your temptation desires. All someone has to do is sign up on the site, upload a few pictures and answer a few questions. A person can complete the required startup information in the morning and have a slew of qualified dating candidates in the afternoon. Sounds too good to be true. However, there are several factors that one should consider when utilizing these sites.
The danger signs and safety concerns everyone needs to keep in consideration:
1. Downloadable links. When communicating with someone through online means, be mindful of any links within profiles. Those links could redirect you to malicious sites designed to transfer malware onto your computer. Links should include HTTPS to indicate that the site offers at least basic security. It really is good practice not to click on any additional links from someone’s profile. If they are not able to give a good idea of who they are from their profile, then maybe you should swipe to the left.
2. Sharing all of your personal information on the dating site. Nowadays more sites are asking for your personal information. These sites state that the information gathered will be used to find mates within your proximity. The dating sites will also pitch to you the importance of entering your phone number and address for better results. A good rule of thumb is to only share what you feel comfortable with other people knowing.
3. Dating website or apps access to other information on your devices. Many websites and apps allow you to use other social media login credentials (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to access dating apps and websites. There is an inherent risk with this practice of letting applications piggyback off of each other. Each application and website that you access could have its own login credentials with the intent of segmenting your risk factor. If your social media account becomes jeopardized, you don’t have to worry about your other apps and sites that also use the same credentials as your universal social media login. When downloading a dating app to you phone blue vigilant of the other applications that it will need access to.
4. Being “catfished”. When you are online, you can become anyone you want to be. There is the potential to be perceived however you choose to. A “catfish” is someone who pretends to be someone else online by creating a false profile with the intentions of making people believe their lie. Even though one may assume that they have keen senses and can smell out BS, many people still fall victim. When dating online, it’s important to remember that who you are communicating with may not be who you think. A “catfisher” would do the following:
a. Make you believe in the falsification of their identity.
b. Discuss thing and ask for pictures that are sexual in nature.
c. Will ask for money.
d. Make you believe that they want to meet up but quickly establish a trend of excuses why they can’t meet up.
e. Will avoid video chatting and voice conversations.
If you have been “catfished” in the past, it could make you lose trust in people. If you choose to utilize online dating sites, make sure that you request to video chat with the person and google the images that they use as their profile picture. Remember, when you are utilizing the World Wide Web, anyone can be whoever they want to be.
5. Getting blackmailed. Imagine you meet the person of your dreams online. You two hit it off big time and are engaging in some pretty strong conversation. Your request to video chat with them and they accept your invite. While video chatting with the individual you notice that the image is blurred or the other person is out of view of the camera. They ask you to reveal your “private parts” to them and tell you that once they get set up they will do the same. You reveal yourself and put on a show for this person that you fell so hard for. Later in the video, you are hit with a ransom of a few thousand dollars for the video. They tell you that if you do not want this video to be sent to your place of employment, family, place it on the internet, and/or your significant other. Keep in mind that this may not just be video but also the exchange of sexually explicit pictures.
Online dating has become something of an accepted norm of society in modern times. The convenience offered by them allows one to connect to so many people with shared interests can be very inciting, but that convenience does come with a level of dangers. If you choose to explore the romantic avenues from dating apps and websites, please be mindful of the inherent risks associated with its use and stay vigilant.