As online dating becomes more common with every passing year, people are turning to a slew of apps to help them find love or something more casual. Tinder has been at the forefront of the online dating movement, especially as the app quickly helps find people near the users. However, there have been plenty of horror stories about people meeting those that they found on Tinder in person. If you don’t want to be one of these horror stories, here are five tips for staying safe on the app.
Don’t feel pressured to give out your phone number
Giving a potential love interest your phone number is somewhat old-fashioned and outdated. You’ve seen it in the movies, and you’ve heard about it in songs, because before smartphones and the Internet were as advanced as they are now, the only way to reach someone was through the mail, or by calling their landline. That’s not the case nowadays. There are plenty of discreet messaging apps you can use to communicate with someone off Tinder, or you can simply message them through Tinder. That way you keep your personal information secure, while still having various ways to keep in touch with one another.
Meet in public places
This is a safety tip that can and should be used when you decide to meet up in person with someone you met online. No matter how comfortable you may feel, or how charming a suitor may be, meeting them in a crowded, public area is the safest method of doing so. Try to agree on meeting somewhere you’re both familiar with, take your own transportation, let others know where you’re going and who you’re going to see, and bring a form of protection to cover your bases.
Don’t disclose where you work, or attend school
Aside from giving out your full name and home address, disclosing where you work, or attend school is likely the most dangerous bit of information you can divulge to strangers on the internet. The crazy thing is, Tinder gives you the option to display your occupation and place of education on your profile. They may seem like minor details to some, but information that personal can be dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands. It’s best to keep those details to yourself and keep those details pretty vague until you become close to your potential partner.
Only swipe right on verified profiles
Within the last few years, Tinder has added a really neat feature that verifies you’re talking to the person behind the profile. All you have to do is go to the verification check mark, take a picture of yourself in real-time, and the app works its magic to determine if the facial features match those of the pictures on the profile. Now, not everyone lacking their verification checkmark is a catfish, but it’s safe to say the profiles that have been verified are legitimate.
You shouldn’t meet up with anyone from Tinder until you get to know them better, even if they seem OK on the surface. One of the best ways to stay safe is to keep engaging the other person in conversation, asking them questions about themselves along the way. There may be instances in which you’re able to spot a lie or a contradiction. If the person says that they’re tired of talking and answering questions and they want to fast forward into a meetup, that’s a big red flag. After all, you’re going to be talking in-person anyway, so why not keep the conversation online until you’ve ensured your safety?