Online dating is continuing to grow in popularity and constantly evolve. With mobile apps like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge, online dating is transforming to help you find matches easier and faster than before.

With the popularity of these apps, it’s important to know how your privacy will be protected and what you can do to protect yourself from potential dangers.

Online dating has introduced some new issues. Interacting with strangers through apps can put you at risk for identity theft, catfishing, online harassment, and scams

In this article, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about online dating safety so that you can enjoy an app like Tinder, Bumble, and Hinge without worrying about anything!

Dating sites have always been popular, but it’s only recently that they’ve become so mainstream. And with the increased popularity of this type of website comes an increase in risks to both users and their private data.

What Data Do Online Dating Profiles Collect?

Depending on the platform you’re using, dating sites can collect various data including your gender, sexual orientation, location data, email address, phone number, DOB, age, height, body type, looking for info, political affiliation, and religion.

If you’re sharing photos or videos through a dating app, yes, the company has access to those. And they might be screening them with AI too; Bumble uses such tech to preemptively screen and block images that might be lewd.

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There’s also a chance your private communications on these apps might be handed over to the government or law enforcement. Like a lot of other tech platforms, these sites’ privacy policies generally state that they can give your data when facing a legal request like a court order.

No matter the app or its features, it’s important to keep in mind that any dating site has the potential for fake accounts. The guidelines above can offer an extra layer of protection, but in the end, no app is able to truly verify the identity of its members, nor do they perform background checks. But you can do things on your own to make up for this—which you’ll find in our tips below.

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Safety Tips for Online Dating

  • Don’t Give Out Too Much Personal Info On Dating Apps. You can’t know for sure who might be behind the other person’s screen. Don’t give out places you normally visit, your family members’ locations, your birthday and other personal information so quickly. After you and your date get to know each other a little better and feel more comfrtable, then you can share a little more about yourself.
  • Never Send Money or Share Financial Information. Never send money, especially over wire transfer, even if the person claims to be in an emergency. Wiring money is like sending cash — it’s nearly impossible to reverse the transaction or trace where the money went. Never share information that could be used to access your financial accounts. If another user asks you for money, report it to us immediately.
  • Stay on the Platform. Keep conversations on the dating platform while you’re getting to know someone.
  • Don’t Be In A Rush. Take your time and get to know the other person before agreeing to meet or chat off Tinder. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to screen for any red flags or personal dealbreakers. A phone or video call can be a useful screening tool before meeting.
  • Always Use Unique Photos For Your Dating Profile. It is really easy to do a reverse image search with Google. If your dating profile has a photo that also shows up on your Instagram or Facebook account, it will be easier for someone to find you on social media.
  • Use A Google Voice Number Instead Of Your Own. With the Google Voice app, you’re able to check your calls, voicemails, and messages without giving out your real number. You can also block anyone who comes across a little “sketch”. Keep your personal number secure and only for people you feel comfortable with.
  • Take A Quick Video Chat Before Meeting. It’s a good idea to get a glimpse of your date before meeting him or her. This could also help to reduce the risk of being “catfished” by someone claiming to be someone he or she is not.
  • Meet In A Public Place For Your First Date. The first date is a great time to try out a coffee shop, wander through a museum, or chat over dinner and drinks.
  • Arrange Your Own Transportation. It’s smart to avoid letting someone know exactly where you live until you know them better. Drive yourself to the date or get a ride, but don’t have your date pick you up or take you home.
  • Enlist The Help Of A Friend. Let someone know you’re going out with someone new, tell them where you’re going, and set a time for them to check in on you and make sure you’re okay.
  • Consider Carrying A Self-Defense Tool. Carrying a self-defense weapon is a very personal decision, but if it makes you feel safer, you may want to carry a Taser, pepper spray, or a knife. In some cases, even a flashlight can make an excellent self-defense tool.

While women may seem like the only individuals whose safety is at risk, men also need to be cautious with online dating. The National Domestic Violence Hotline reports that “[more than 1 in 3 women (35.6%) and more than 1 in 4 men (28.5%) in the United States have experienced rape, physical violence and/or stalking by an intimate partner in their lifetime”.

Once again, you are in no way responsible for someone else’s predatory behavior, but you should feel empowered to protect yourself and avoid situations that make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable.

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Keep the tips above in mind to make sure you and your date feel comfortable—then have fun getting to know new people, eating yummy food, and exploring your city.

If you feel you are in immediate danger or need emergency assistance, call 911 (U.S. or Canada) or your local law enforcement agency.

RAINN’s National Sexual Assault Hotline
1-800-656-HOPE (4673) | |

Planned Parenthood
1-800-230-7526 |

National Domestic Violence Hotline
1-800-799-SAFE (7233) or 1-800-787-3224 |

National Human Trafficking Hotline
1-888-373-7888 or text 233733 |

National Sexual Violence Resource Center
1-877-739-3895 |

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
1-800-THE-LOST (843-5678) |

Cyber Civil Rights Initiative
1-844-878-2274 |

VictimConnect – Crime Victim Resource Center
1-855-4VICTIM (855-484-2846) |

FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center

LGBT National Help Center
1-888-843-4564 |

Trans Lifeline
1-877-565-8860 (US) or 1-877-330-6366 (CA) |