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Valentines for the 21st Century – Using Online Dating Apps

If you’re single and looking to meet new people – whether for friendship and no strings socialising or to find the love of your life – more and more people are using dating apps to help in their search.

The popularity of dating apps has increased exponentially since 2017 (and most notably since the Covid19 pandemic) – there are about 1,500 online dating sites and apps worldwide, many of which are aimed at specific sections of society. There are of course the big dating apps that dominate the industry- the names we all probably think of when anyone mentions online dating. Tinder, Bumble and Match are the most popular but there are many more to choose from.

In this digital world it makes sense that people find it hard to forge meaningful relationships in real life – cue online dating! But like everything else we do online we need to be careful not to fall victim to fraud.

Which App is best?

Whether you’re looking for long term commitment or you just want to keep things casual and see where they go, there is bound to be the perfect app for you. Pick the right app to suit your partner preferences.

Tinder is great for younger people looking to make connections while eHarmony is a winner for those who like data-driven matches. Bumble is a solid choice for women who want to avoid unsolicited messages from men as they can only be contacted after the woman has expressed her interest. If you’re a gamer, then there is an app perfect for you – Kippo is a mobile dating app specifically designed for gamers to meet up and connect. And for those of you searching for a like-minded professional to share your time with you could find your match at Elite Singles.

How to Protect Yourself from Scammers When Online Dating

  • Account Security: As with any online account it’s vital you have a strong password (plus 2-step verification if applicable) and take extra care when accessing sites on a public or shared device.
  • Privacy Boundaries: Avoid revealing personal information to people you don’t know such as home address, work address, daily routine i.e. time/day you go for a run/gym etc. If you are a parent or guardian don’t reveal too much about your children – don’t share details such as their names, ages or where they go to school.
  • Financial Safety: Never send money or share financial details, it’s a big red flag if the person you are communicating with asks you to send money to them.
  • Chat on the App: Keep conversations within the dating app and avoid requests to message on messaging apps such as WhatsApp which aren’t regulated in the same way as the dating sites.
  • Report Suspicious Behaviour: If it doesn’t feel right and you notice the person making odd requests that make you feel uncomfortable then you should block and report the user to the dating site and if necessary, to the authorities.
  • Personal Safety: If you meet up in real life then be sure to tell a friend or family member where you are going and what time you will be back.

If you find yourself in the unfortunate position of falling victim to online dating fraud, then the most important thing to do is to report it. Don’t be embarrassed – fraudsters literally make a living out of conning people, they are very convincing and will happily play the long game until their victim has let their guard down.

Keep it Real and Have Fun

The important thing to remember about online dating is to have fun and be yourself. If it feels like hard work or you’re not enjoying yourself then take a break for a while and see how you feel.

Online dating is sure to continue to grow in popularity and dating apps are a great way to make that first connection with a prospective partner.

Article written by Ben Hemp from File Genie who is a member of Peterborough Business Directory.

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