We have all been stuck at home, devoid of interactions with other people like we used to before the pandemic. Dating life, however, didn’t have to come to an end. Thanks to online dating, mingling became the go-to place for singles seeking like-minded matches. Whether you are into flirting, hook-up dating, or looking for a serious relationship, there’s just the right platform for you.
Online dating activities have increased rapidly in the UK over the last few years, with registration tripling yearly. Security concerns among Brits have, therefore, also shot to the roof given the large database. There have been several incidences of data breaches and cyberstalking, with personal data such as user’s location, address, and photos being stolen. The new trend of registering a new account using an existing social media platform or Google account exposes more data to the risk of hacking.
While most good outcomes come with swiping right or left or scrolling up and down, the simplicity of meeting an exciting match should never be at the cost of your security when talking about hook-up dating and some niche services. Nevertheless, security on most legit UK dating websites has drastically improved through tech over time. However, there is still a significant risk of exposure to personal information or data breach. Hence, you need to stay woke when using these platforms.
That said, here are six steps that come in handy.
Use only legal software
All software applications require a license to run. Legal software is copyright protected. Genuine online dating platforms require users to read and agree to some legal terms and conditions. Licensed software has very specific conditions of use and distribution. Typically, users have to pay a certain price to use this software, which can be a one-time fee or a subscription.
Open source software, on the other hand, is an open code released by the software developer, and users can look at how exactly the program was created and potentially make edits. Legal software provides world-class security and guarantees safety when dating online.
Keep your software updated
Once you get reliable software, the next thing is to ensure continuous development in security by installing updates as soon as they are available. Software updates ensure smooth operations by improving compatibility and security features. This eliminates any critical bugs that would otherwise compromise your safety.
Cybercriminals are always coming up with new ways to breach device security. Top techniques include creating bugs that increase vulnerabilities and exposing the software to breaches, hacks, cyber-attacks, and identity theft. Updates provide security patches that block these loopholes, protecting the device from all possible malicious attacks.
Install a secure antivirus
Today, computer malware is more dangerous and sophisticated than ever before. Computer viruses are just like the flu; they spread and replicate. The malware slows down the device, steals personal data, and can even perform unauthorized functions.
If you’re dating online, you probably have put a lot of personal and sensitive information on the platform. A secure antivirus on your device is important as it can detect malware, suppress, and destroy it. Antiviruses run on the background checking for threats. Having a secure and legit antivirus running on your device improves your confidence in the dating platform.
Use trusted VPN services
A Virtual Private Network, VPN, protects data and prevents unauthorized tracking of your activities. VPNs use robust encryptions that create secure connections, making you access the internet without third-party sites monitoring your activities. It basically creates a protection wall from unsecured internet infrastructure. VPNs take readable data and scramble it, so unauthorized parties cannot understand it.
Although VPN networks might stretch across Public internet infrastructure, all the connections remain private. The virtual network ensures that anyone not physically connected to the particular server cannot access the resources.
VPNs secure your dating endeavors by controlling access and management of your data. Hence, you can safely interact with other members on dating platforms. Since VPNs conceal your identity and real whereabouts (you can choose a particular part of the UK or even a continent) on the network and prevent third-party sites from tracking, confidential information is safeguarded. It also makes it difficult for hackers to compromise your dating efforts.
Try a password manager
Password managers are great tools for generating strong and unique passwords, and storing and retrieving them conveniently. A password manager can store credentials for numerous accounts. Retrieving the saved passwords from a different internet application is also seamless.
The best thing about these tools is you can create complex passwords but don’t have to memorize them as the tool does that for you. Dating sites request their users to create long, unique, and difficult-to-remember PINs. However, very few users do this because of the obvious possibility of forgetting their credentials and being locked out of their accounts. Updating or refreshing a password using a management tool is convenient and straightforward, even for beginners.
One common mistake among most online daters who lose their accounts to hackers is using login credentials across multiple accounts. Leveraging the power of a password manager allows you to get out of this cocoon of naïve daters.
Choose reliable programs for texting and video outside the site
The goal of online dating platforms is to connect people with similar interests, who are looking for hookup dating, something serious, or simply chatting. What’s next after you meet your match? Late-night calls, romantic text messages, and voice notes are perhaps the only options to keep in touch. Subsequently, since you’re both new on the platform, buying a premium package doesn’t make sense, so you’ve limited features. Hence, you will want to find other options to enjoy your newly found love and affection for each other without any limitations.
However, most free communication and chatting programs out there are not designed to keep hackers at bay. Malicious people have identified this and are using it to target innocent users. Free tools are a prime hotspot for cyber criminals as they attract the masses and are less secure than premium ones. Hence, it is easier to steal user data and confidential information like the private pics you share with your partner and use them for blackmail.
Choose communication platforms that are tried and tested, and stay away from the new kids on the block. Long-serving platforms have experience handling intruders and are more likely to have tighter security protocols.
Most platforms have developed paid versions that have improved security features, including additional preferences. Whatever dating platform you use, the built-in features are insufficient to address all the security concerns. It is imperative to take more measures to acquire additional layers of protection. Whether online or offline, dating should be a pleasant experience, not a nightmare.