3 Tips For Cyber Safety On Dating Apps

With over 323 million people worldwide using dating apps in 2023, the question of safety on platforms like Tinder and Bumble is more pertinent than ever. While these apps open doors to potential connections, they also pose unique challenges in terms of personal and data security. Beyond the screen, who are we really interacting with, and can we trust these platforms to protect our most personal information? This Valentine’s Day 2024, as singles navigate these digital spaces in search of love or companionship, it’s important to consider not just the intentions of those we might match with but also the cybersecurity measures implemented by these apps. Are Tinder, Bumble, and similar dating platforms truly safe to use, in terms of can you build meaningful relationships on the internet while protecting your personal data?

Luke Secrist, the CEO of BuddoBot, a firm renowned for its expertise in offensive cybersecurity, sheds light on this modern dilemma. With a team of professional hackers under his leadership, Secrist knows of the risks behind seemingly innocent swipes and messages. The digital dating world is rife with more than just potential love interests; it’s also a hunting ground for phishers and scammers. Here are his tips for keeping your personal data safe on dating apps. 

Tip #1: Leave Out Last Names

A simple way to protect your identity without being deceitful is by simply leaving out last names on online dating apps. Even if the app requires it for signup, reputable apps should allow you to keep that information private. You can still be authentic while not disclosing too much information that a bot or malicious actor could use against you. 

Tip #2: Assume Someone is a Scammer Until Proven Otherwise

Criminals target those that are seeking love or affection. Their hope is to utilize that vulnerable state where emotion may overpower logic. Keep in mind, these types of scams have many layers. If you ask to talk and they say they prefer to text – that’s a red flag. The level of sophistication increases the more personal it gets. Watch for flags in each stage and don’t go to the next step if your spidey senses are going off. Never give away identifying or personal information – there is no reason to do so when starting to get to know someone. 

Tip #3: Research

Some folks are more private than others, but there is quite a bit of information out there. There is no shame in doing some research on someone, especially when it comes to online dating. See if you can find any red flags or inconsistencies across profiles and other things that come up under a search, especially if it differs from what they’re telling you. If the discussion ever turns to money, investments, or them asking for money or financial assistance, no matter how dire the situation they present is, know that it is likely a scam. 

Experts in the field of cybersecurity and digital relationships consistently warn that if something seems too good to be true, it likely is. This age-old adage rings especially true in the context of online dating, where the excitement of a potential connection can sometimes cloud our judgment. The digital realm offers an array of opportunities for scammers to exploit unwary individuals, presenting themselves as the perfect match to gain access to personal information or financial resources. It’s crucial, then, to approach these budding relationships with a healthy dose of skepticism and to prioritize safety over fleeting emotions. Remember, preserving your digital well-being is paramount; it’s always better to be safe than sorry.