According to Statista, Tinder is by far the most popular online dating app in the U.S. with 7.86 million mobile users. Although Tinder and other dating apps can certainly help in the quest to find romance, there are a number of privacy concerns that online daters must avoid. For instance, stalkers, catfishing, romance scams, and location and personal data sharing are all Tinder privacy problems. For their part, Tinder has tried to address some of these concerns by unveiling new safety features. According to Forbes, these new features include a Safety Center for tips and advice, a panic button for emergency situations, photo verification to deter the creation of fake profiles, and a feature to help decrease offensive messages.
These features are a step towards a safer platform for online dating, but they still don’t eliminate some common privacy issues that all online daters should be aware of. In order to stay safe while you swipe, avoid making these common Tinder privacy mistakes.
Swipe left on these Tinder privacy mistakes:
#1 Tinder Privacy Mistake: Profile problems
From the creation of your Tinder profile, you should consider what information you are putting out into the world. Let’s start by considering the photos used on your Tinder account. Be sure that no one else is in these photos without their permission. This is important for two reasons: first, they may not wish to have their photo on Tinder; second, this makes it easier for someone to find you if they can find one of your relatives or friends. Reverse image searches could allow a stranger to identify you from your social media accounts. For this reason, it is a smart tactic to use photos that are not present anywhere else on the internet.
Know how to protect yourself from social media stalking. Be honest, how many dates have you gone on without Googling or Facebook stalking your future date? Most of us probably at least do a basic search. Tinder accounts can be linked to Facebook accounts when they are created. Although this is an easy way to set up your account, it can make your Facebook easier to find. To fix this, you could create a dummy Facebook account. By creating a dummy account, you can keep your real Facebook account more private. This can help keep Facebook stalking to a minimum. (Also be sure to set your Facebook privacy settings to private!)
#2 Tinder Privacy Mistake: Linking your Instagram to your Tinder account
When you link your Instagram to your Tinder account you are essentially granting access to your social media accounts. This makes it much easier for someone to find info about you online, including your last name if it is on your Insta. Even if you swiped left on someone, if they find you on Instagram, they still might send you a message. This takes away the mutual agreement to swipe right on each other. Essentially, it could open up the opportunity for someone to try to harass you in your DMs. For these reasons, linking your Instagram to your Tinder is a privacy mistake. If you truly love your Instagram and really believe that you want your potential dates to see it, there are other options. Instead, you can share your Instagram handle in the chat once you’ve already swiped right on someone. Then you at least have chosen to match with this person rather than allowing strangers to have access.
#3 Tinder Privacy Mistake: Sharing too much, too fast
Yes, we’ve all heard the expression “sharing is caring”. But, this should not always be the case when it comes to online dating. Instead, take care with what you share.
In chats, refrain from sharing information that you wouldn’t want a stranger to know. With over 7.86 million users in the U.S. alone, you are almost guaranteed to come across the account of someone who may have ill intentions. To protect your privacy, do not give away private information such as your last name, phone number (at least not right away!), home address, and names of family members.
#5 Tinder Privacy Mistake: Falling for romance scams
Perhaps the most heartbreaking Tinder privacy mistake you can make is falling for a romance scam. These scams can hurt your heart and your wallet. As anyone who has seen MTV’s show Catfish knows, catfishing occurs when someone creates a fake profile in order to deceive you. The reasons for creating a fake profile are plenty. Some scammers want to create trust in order to get money from you. Others want to blackmail you. Some just do it for fun. Either way, avoid these romance scammers by watching out for catfish while you are swiping. Check out Spy-Fy’s article on how to spot a catfish here.
Tinder, like many dating apps, can help us to create romantic connections (whether short or long term). This is especially relevant during COVID-19 as social distancing has limited other options for meeting romantic prospects. By avoiding these Tinder privacy mistakes, online daters can keep themselves safe during their search for love.