Dating apps have made it easier than ever to find someone to hook up with. But they’ve also made it easier for people to hide their true selves.
Is the person you met on Tinder really the person he says he is? Are you being catfished by that suspiciously attractive girl that just matched with you? Today, we’re going to explain some basic precautions that will help you protect yourself while using dating apps.
The Ol’ “Ask the Person If They’re Okay With No Condoms” Trick
One of the oldest tricks in the dating app handbook is when you’re ready to hook up with someone, ask if they’re okay with not using a condom. If they say yes, then that’s bad news: you’re almost certainly not the first person to get that answer.
STI rates are skyrocketing around the world – and experts are blaming apps like Tinder. STIs are a real threat on dating apps. If you’re suspicious about someone’s sexual history, make sure you stay protected. And don’t be afraid to whip out this trick on them.
Try Some Casual Stalking
As soon as you get a piece of personally identifiable information about someone – like a name, phone number or even a birthdate – you can start putting together the pieces of who that person is.
Searching for a phone number on Facebook may turn up their Facebook profile, for example. Searching for their Tinder username on Google can even reveal some other online accounts – like their Twitter or Instagram.
There’s nothing wrong with a little casual stalking on dating apps. Remember: there are a lot of creeps out there, and many of them use dating apps for nefarious purposes. You’re not being creepy – you’re being cautious.
Be Wary of Any Awkward Requests
Is someone asking you to pick them up from their house? Are they refusing to meet in a particular location? Are they telling you to send them money, pay for a cab ride, or do any other sorts of awkward things?
If so, then you could be being catfished, phished, scammed, or whatever other trendy word you want to use. People use dating apps to steal stuff from people. If someone starts requesting weird stuff, press them for more information about themselves. If they refuse to go into detail, then that’s bad news for your connection.
Be Careful Setting Up Your Own Profile
All of the tips listed above can be used against you. Take a look at your online profile and make sure you’re not revealing too much personally-identifiable information. Look carefully at your profile pics to see if there’s anything in the background, foreground, or on your person that could identify you (like a school shirt or a shot of your street name in the background).
Make sure you choose a generic name. Sometimes, you’ll be lucky enough to be born with a generic name. But if you’re the type of person who searches their name on Facebook and only finds themselves, then your name might give away too much about you.
One of the most common privacy problems on dating platforms is that when you first setup your profile, it may drag in your bio text from Facebook. Sometimes, that contains personal information about yourself, your friends, your school, your job, or your other social media profiles. Make sure your bio says something fairly vague.
Understand the Dangers of Shared Facebook Friends
Many dating apps let you see shared Facebook friends you have with a connection. This can be good for verifying someone’s identity and credibility, but it can be bad for your own personal protection.
If someone sees they have a mutual friend with you, they may be able to reveal your identity by identifying your mutual friend and then scanning that person’s list of friends for your first name. If your Tinder profile is your Facebook profile, or if they’re similar photos, then this makes it easy to track you down.
Run a Criminal Background Check
This is something you want to do after you’ve been on a few dates. You like the person, you want to get to know them better, and you’ve decided it’s time to take things to the next step.
But you’re still not 100% sure if this person is being truthful with their history.
That’s where a criminal background check can help. It’s not nearly as intense as it sounds: running a criminal records check on someone is cheap, easy, and 100% confidential. It’s also completely legal – after all, criminal records are part of the public records database on someone.
There are really two possible outcomes of running a criminal background check on your date:
1) You find something undesirable in their past and decide to break things off before they get serious
2) You find a clean record and your date never knows you checked their record (or you just have a funny story to tell your kids in the future)
Start your criminal records check today here at CheckCriminalRecord.com, where getting started is as easy as entering someone’s first and last name.