In 2021 online dating and hookup sites are a huge part of everybody’s dating life. The stereotypes built around online dating are finally being put to rest, and the digital approach is becoming the most popular choice. This is no surprise at all because online dating provides you with options you wouldn’t have otherwise. Even if you’re a fan of flirting with strangers at a local bar or setting coffee dates with people you met at your gym, you can’t deny that online dating offers a lot more variety.
Hookup sites give you an opportunity to look through hundreds or even thousands of potential partners daily, which significantly increases your chances of finding a perfect match. The only drawbacks of online dating are potential safety issues. As your dating profile will be seen by numerous users, there will be no guarantee that these people have your best interest at heart. You need to know where to draw the line with the information you share online and how to protect yourself from unwanted attention.
The best advice here would be to keep your profile as anonymous as possible before getting to know the person. Don’t get me wrong, being safe doesn’t necessarily mean covering your identity behind a fake name, a fake profile, or fake photos. If anything, I would strongly advise you against it because fake identities can bring chaos and misunderstandings to your dating life. If your match finds out you’re lying about your identity, they will probably think you’re extremely shady, and they most likely won’t be able to look past this experience. Getting to know someone online can have real-life consequences, so you want to share the real you. However, your personal safety should always come first.
Watch the Meet Group’s Catherine Connelly and Larry Magid from ConnectSafely chat about having fun and staying safe while dating online.
It’s always better to be safe than sorry. Some online safety guidelines seem obvious, and some you discover through trial and error. To save you the effort, we created a list of the rules that online daters need to remember no matter what.
9 Basic safety tips for hookup and dating sites
Don’t give out your full name, address, or phone number on hookup sites or apps
If you don’t want a complete stranger to snoop around your personal information and possibly use it against you, you need to keep your full name, address, and phone number away from the dating apps. Keep in mind that these details in a single Google Search can expose your workplace, your social media profiles, your favorite places to go, or even your contact information.
Remove your workplace and education info from the profile
It’s easy to locate someone on social networks such as Facebook if you filter a search by their school and/or workplace. How awkward and scary could it be if a stalker from a dating app finds you on a lunch break with your colleagues. This danger is even more real to those who work in small companies or family-businesses
Change your primary profile photo
Dating apps similar to Tinder usually auto-fill your dating profile photo with the one you have on your Facebook profile. Your picture is the easiest way for a potential stalker or a scammer to identify your profile on social networks. This is why the picture you use for dating apps and websites should not be identical to your Facebook user picture.
Don’t ever agree to meet with your match before you have at least a few video chats
It’s essential to keep your online dating profile relatively anonymous. But what if you matched with someone special and you want to try and move things a bit further than just flirty messages? In this case, total anonymity may do you more harm than good and increase the risk of you meeting a catfish. Well, there is an easy way to fix this.
Arrange a video call with a person you want to meet. This way, you can see your match’s face and hear their voice before meeting them in public.
Some dating apps, such as Pure, have an inbuilt option for video calls which you might find useful. This is a much easier and safer option than using an external app.
Pure app offers video chats with an option to wear a virtual mask in case you’re feeling shy or anxious to see your match. Besides, it can add a sexy, mysterious twist to your conversation and inspire you for a hot dirty talk session.
You'll crave for more!
Don’t add links to your social media profiles
Dating apps such as Tinder have an option to link an Instagram account to your profile to share more photos of yourself with potential matches. When people see that you have an active Insta account, it’s easier for them to believe that you’re a real person. On the other hand, it may be unsafe for you because your Instagram profile likely offers a lot more information on your favorite activities, locations, and friends than you realize. If you want to stay on the safe side, it’s better not to link Instagram to your dating profiles. The same goes for Twitter, WhatsApp, TikTok, and other accounts.
Register without Facebook
Most dating app profiles typically auto-fill your name, age, and employment using your Facebook profile. They also may use the same photos and show mutual friends with potential matches. Besides, they display your interests from all of the pages you liked on Facebook. With recent updates to Facebook’s search algorithm, this is a very unsafe practice.
It’s really easy to find you if you have somewhat of a unique first name if you attended a small university class or a sports team. It’s even easier to find you if you have a common friend with your “stalker” on Facebook.
The good thing is that this issue is really easy to avoid. Just remember that you can sign up to any dating app using your phone number even though these apps will want you to sign in via Facebook. This will give you more control over the information that gets shown on your profile.
Don’t provide any kind of payment information over the apps/website
Well this one goes without saying. You probably wouldn’t do so anyway, but the scammers online can be quite inventive that, at times they get to the best of us. Remember that there is no good reason for anybody to ask for your payment information via hookup apps.
Be careful with the pictures you post to your profile or in personal messages
The rule here is easy – don’t make your main profile picture a photo that you wouldn’t want your grandma to see. And if you want to share a sexy photo with your match via personal messages, make sure that the app provides you with tools to protect your safety.
For example, Pure hookup app offers chats with self-destructing photos (they disappear right after being seen). And if your match tries to take a screenshot of your conversation, you will get a notification about that.
Be careful when using location features
It’s convenient when dating apps limit your pool of matches to a specific location radius. On the other hand, be cautious with where and how often you check in to the app, as your matches might figure out your exact location at any given moment.
To sum things up, there are many great options to meet your perfect match for a hookup or a date online. And there are just as many apps and services that you can use to find them. However, it’s very important to choose the service that cares about your safety and offers the best tools to protect your identity and personal info.
Some dating apps are better in providing a safer dating experience (such as Pure). Other apps can be worse in protecting their personal safety. So be sure to compare all of your options and make an educated decision on which app to use. Stay safe and stay anonymous until you feel that you can really trust your match.
So choose a cute picture for your dating profile, add a fun bio, and get ready to fall for someone new.