Online dating has become a common phenomenon, with many apps and their ever-increasing user base. This new trend may turn out to be unsafe for various users. The solution is not to completely stop using them, but to ensure that you use them safely. It is not a hidden fact that men and women experience cyber crime differently. More so, women are more likely to face cyber stalking and online harassment than men. This article suggests a list of cyber safety practices for women that you must follow.
From what we have seen in the cases we receive, the reasons for women being the primary victims can be:
- Lack of awareness of using dating platforms.
- Negligible interest in knowing about security measures.
- Perpetrators may find it easy to blackmail a victim for being present on online dating sites due to cultural stigma.
- Lack of familiarity with technological advancements.
After taking a detailed look at the available cases, I have prepared the following guide. You can adopt the following security and safety measures while using online dating platforms.
Suggested Cyber Safety Practices
- You should not use a profile picture that reveals your city or locality. If a dating application shows individuals living nearby, it may be possible for them to determine your location easily.
- Avoid uploading so-many of your photos on your dating account. A perpetrator can perform a reverse search on your pictures to gather plenty of information about you.
- You should not publicly share information about your political interest. I have seen cases where a victim’s political interest was a trigger for anger or vengeful behaviour.
- Minimise sharing personal information that is very specific to you – for example, your height, weight, and other physical characteristics. A perpetrator can use these pieces of information with your photos to make a fake profile and give it credibility.
- Perpetrators often share too much personal information about themselves to build trust. In most of the cases, it is fake. So, you should not fall right into this trap and avoid sharing sensitive information just because the other person is doing so. Perpetrators use this as a tactic to extract information from you.
- I have seen cases where perpetrators invest around 3 to 6 months. They aim to give a false sense of safety to the victim. You should not trust someone merely because you know them for 5 months.
- You should avoid meeting in person without conducting a comprehensive background check.
- If you decide to meet the person you met online, share the meeting specifics with someone you trust.
Online dating platforms can be actually useful when it comes to finding new friends or a partner. However, one must not oversee the possible dangers that may come your way. In such a situation, it becomes imperative for you to be conscious about your online safety. While the tips given above can help you greatly, always think twice before sharing your personal information on online dating platforms. And if you are stuck in a problem, you can always reach out to us!
To contribute to our blog and knowledge base, write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and elaborate on how you can help create a safer cyber space.
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