Online dating has become the new normal. If you’re going to be looking for Mr. or Mrs. Right on Tinder, Bumble, or other dating apps, it’s important to take steps to protect your privacy.
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Between ride-sharing, secondary email accounts, and a second phone number from Burner, there are many tools at your disposal. The trick is to know how to use them. Following these tips will help keep you safe when you’re trying to meet new people.
1. Limit the personal information you give out
You should also be careful not to share this information on your social media sites or elsewhere online. You never know who might search for that information, looking for you. If you’re not sure how much information is already available about you online, take the Burner Challenge.
In the beginning of a new online relationship, stick to the chat function within the app. When you’re ready to move to the phone (or if you just prefer texting), give your new acquaintance a Burner number. That way your personal number-and all the attached info about you-stays safe while you get to know the other person.
Once you’ve vetted someone and are relatively sure that they’re trustworthy, you can consider sharing your personal phone number or additional private information.
2. Trust your gut
Your instincts are there to protect you, so it’s important to listen to them. If your gut is telling you to run for the hills, you have a few options.
First off, you can distance yourself from that person. Burner makes this easy. You can always Burn a number and grab a new one. Problem solved (at least on the phone calls and text messages front).
Additional measures can be taken if you decide it’s necessary, such as blocking a Stockton hookup apps number or using Ghostbot to handle unwanted texts. Ghostbot is an intelligent auto-responder that helps you carefully distance yourself from a person sending you unwanted messages.
If you’re new to the online dating scene and you’re still honing your instincts, here are a few red flags to look out for-if you detect the other person doing any of these, it may be time to cut off communication:
- Asking for personal information too soon
- Insisting on meeting for the first time in a non-public space
- Refusing to talk on the phone or do a video call before meeting in person
- Making inappropriate jokes or advances
- Lying about who they are, or other aspects of their personality or life
3. Set up second numbers and bogus emails
If you’ve decided that the person you’re talking to is safe enough to move the conversation outside of the dating app chat function, you still might not want to share your personal email or phone number with them.
We’ve already mentioned Burner for second or alternative phone numbers but you may also want to consider maintaining a secondary email account to share with potential dates. Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail and several other providers will happily give you a brand new email account free of charge.
As long as it’s not your personal email you’re giving out, you still have a layer of privacy between you and new people and you can always change the email address if it falls into the wrong hands.
4. Use your own transportation
As old-fashioned and adorable as it is to let your date pick you up at home, it adds risk. Not only do they know where you live, but if the first date goes badly, how will you get home?