Protecting your privacy while online dating

14 May, 2018

With the world more connected than ever, it’s harder to avoid personal and professional overlap in your relationships. It can feel too easy to bump into coworkers on dating apps, especially since many online dating services don’t offer the ability to control who views your profile—and strangers may even be able to discover your identity by googling information from your profile.

Online dating coach Lauri Davis described a privacy checklist you can use when online dating to make sure the right people see the information you want them to see:

Limit what they know: Searching specific terms from your dating profile is one of the most common ways people can find information about you online. This includes current job titles, alma maters, or even just your name if it’s unique. To better control what people find when googling you, consider signing online dating messages with an abbreviated version of your name, and stick to general descriptions of your profession instead of your specific job title.

Go incognito: If you’re worried about friends or coworkers seeing your online dating profile, there’s a solution! Many dating sites offer a “private mode,” which makes your profile invisible to anyone you haven’t initiated contact with. When you message someone while using this feature, they can still see your profile normally and don’t get any “keeping it private” notification. Other websites and apps use Facebook Connect to remove people already in your friend group—because if you already know them, you probably have other ways to get in touch.

Create a digital bodyguard: Not everyone is ready to give a date their phone number without meeting them first. Google Voice has the best solution: you can create a new phone number that still rings on your cell phone. Using the app, you can send and receive text messages, block numbers, and receive voicemail. Some dating sites have their own phone systems, which are typically available with a fee. Either way, it’s wise to keep a digital buffer between yourself and online strangers if you haven’t yet had a chance to establish mutual trust.



Image from Pixabay.

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