Online dating has become socially acceptable nowadays, daters can now choose from more than 1,500 dating sites in the internet to find romance online. Many online matches resulted to marriage, yet finding romance in the internet may also pose potential hazards to daters. Dating sites can unintentionally expose users to online reputation management problems.
Potential risk for online daters:
• The more personal details you provide to dating sites such as telephone number or email address, the more you put yourself at risk.
• Many people misrepresent minor or major aspects of their lives on their online dating profiles.
• Overseas financial scammers use dating sites to exhort money.
• Meeting strangers can pose potential threat to physical safety.
• Digital photographs may contain information that can compromise privacy.
• Spammers can use email address to add to their spam lists.
• Location based awareness in mobile devices is easily searchable and can reveal identity.
• Prescreening by dating sites doesn’t mean people gave accurate information.
Everyone needs a positive online image especially those who are dating online. Potential mates are more likely to research about you, so a positive reputation is your most valuable asset. Your online reputation is influenced by what you post and what others say about you. You’re leaving digital fingerprint everywhere you click, that’s why you need to be careful about what you post.
Search engines and social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram play major role in building online reputation. Internet searchers can type queries about anybody and seek pictures, videos, status updates online. People can now be easily identified with gender, birthday and zip code. This information is easily gleaned from many online profiles from social media and dating sites. Online users may be more exposed than they realize.
The surest way to protect yourself in the world of online dating is to safeguard your personal information. Here are some tips to avoid reputation risk of online dating:
• Keep your online professional and personal lives separate.
• Use a free email account from Yahoo, Gmail or other service provider; don’t use your home or company email address.
• Create a unique password for your dating profiles.
• Use your first name or username in your email “from” field when you communicate via email.
• Create a username in your accounts instead of using your given name.
• Don’t provide telephone information or home address, communicate via Skype, or you can buy a disposable cellphone for your online dating needs.
• Don’t provide personal information unless you know the person well. Even last name or phone number can be used to locate your home address.
• Change the bio text that’s imported to Tinder or any application that uses Facebook. Remove websites or other links and replace it with generic description about yourself.
• Make sure that only friends can see your updates on Facebook and other Social media.
• Make sure your confidential personal information like social security number, credit card or bank details is not being displayed on any site.
• Remove metadata from jpeg images or scan photographs before sending it. Avoid risqué pictures; they can harm your online reputation. Think twice before giving photos to anyone you meet on online dating sites.
• Search your name on Google to learn more about you. By searching for yourself you can check if there are damaging content in your search results. Unfavourable content will keep you from meeting that special someone.
Online reputation management is important because we live online. You need to be careful about what you do, say and what you post. To get the most out of your online dating profile and not scare away potential suitors, you have to customize who can see your updates and delete unwanted information about you that appears online. Regulate who sees your information to ensure your privacy is protected and personal information isn’t accessible. By limiting personal information you safeguard your safety and security.