Online dating is so common now that it’s almost synonymous with plain old dating. For the most part, dating apps and websites have given us a convenient new way to connect with people—but online dating has introduced some new issues. Interacting with strangers through apps can put you at risk for identity theft, online harassment, and scams. And if you decide to meet up in the real world, there’s unfortunately also a chance you could find yourself in physical danger.
Online Dating Safety Tips
You’re never responsible for the predatory or disrespectful behavior of others, but there are things you can do to protect yourself when you’re interacting with a stranger. Below we have listed some useful safety tips, as well as a chart that compares the safety and security features of some of the most popular dating apps of 2019.
Comparing dating apps: How safe are they?
App rankings can get convoluted as the list of pros and cons varies widely and evolves constantly. To keep things simple, we reviewed eight of the most popular apps and developed a basic checklist of features that can affect users’ safety, security, and privacy. See our metric definitions below the chart to learn more.
Online Dating Safety Guide Table
Does the app offer its own set of safety guidelines or tips, and are they easily accessible? Many of the apps above will actually promote these guidelines on the sign-up page, while others require a little more digging. Luckily, we were able to find these guidelines fairly quickly on each one.
Does it take more than just a few minutes to sign up in order to meet naughty singles through live chat? The process of creating a new profile varies widely depending on the app. The more casual ones typically require just a phone number or email address, name, age, and location. On the other hand, apps that focus on more serious relationships will require new users to answer a series of in-depth questions about their preferences and personality. The safest ones will go as far as to require additional steps to verify or authenticate your account information. Generally speaking, a longer sign-up process means fewer fake accounts on the app.
Reporting and blocking
Can users easily block and report suspicious accounts? After reading through the user guidelines of each app as https://www.monsitederencontregay.com, we determined that each one on our list does in fact offer both reporting and blocking features, though the terminology may differ.
Are users able to control the visibility of their profile? It’s important to remember that anything you put online is essentially public—that’s true for dating apps too. But some apps make it easier than others for users to find and contact one another. Grindr, for instance, allows you to search for people within the app. On the other end of the spectrum, Hinge offers several options for users to control who they see and who sees them. The more options here, the better.
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.