Online dating has become increasing popular and used by millions in hope of finding that “special someone” but with all this sensitive personal information being disclosed possibly put you at risk of ruining your online reputation?
Besides, scammers, sexual predators, and reputation damage that comes along with online dating sites such as Tinder, POF (Plenty of Fish), etc. The information you provide intended for prospective dates often gets re-disclosed to advertisers and data aggregators who may use the data for purposes unrelated to online dating without customer consent.
Many established dating sites have been accused of intentionally misleading customers and failing to take proper steps in order to protect vulnerable users. These tips aim to educate you on how t protect your online reputation and prevent abuse of your data.
Dating Sites Harvest Personal Data
In order to match others, online dating sites typically collect data about you through forms, quizzes, preference questions, and even blood tests, which is in turn compiled using complex algorithms to generate a list of people with the greatest compatibility rating.
Upon sign up of a dating site, your required to create a “profile” that may ask for any of the following sensitive information:
- Number of children
- Geographic location
- Sexual proclivities
- Drinking behaviour
- Drug use
- Place of residency
- Pace of employment
- Places you frequent
The information collected varies from each dating site to the next and the data you willingly provide is permanent. Be selective of how much information you volunteer; besides a little mystery can be sexy.
Anything Posted To The Internet Stays On The Internet
Data posted online should be regarded as permanent even if it is deleted not because the information may not be easily accessible but because other databases and search engines achieve copies that you won’t have control over and that could come back to haunt you. While this practice is intended solely for convenience even after your account is deactivated, in the event of a legal request the repercussions data provided could certainly result in your personal information being handed over to be examined by law enforcement, insurance companies, or a divorce lawyer for evidence of misrepresentation.
In fact, photos themselves lead to further causes of concern as images uploaded are often stored in a collection of databases not owned by the dating service, but rather a 3rd party service provider that is paid to provide content fast and at reliable up-time. As previously mentioned, even if deleted, these images remain achieved and with the use of facial recognition software and image tagging there is no guarantee of confidentiality. A good rule of thumb is that if you would be embarrassed for your friends or family to see the photo than it is usually best not to post it in the first place.
Exploitation Of Your Data For Marketing Purposes
Often dating sites rely on subscription based service models and affiliate services which in most cases are data mined by advertisers to get better statistics in order to market further products and services to you. Some of the data collected includes the following:
- Behavioural Data
Dating sites also gather e-mail addresses that are added to a distribution list which in many cases result in email spam or Rip-off Scams.
Thousands of complaints are received each year of people scammed out of money online. The majorities of savvy scammers are from overseas and leverage the hopes and dreams of lonely and desperate individuals to lure the unsuspecting victim out of money. This particular method of scam is known as, “catfishing”. Sadly once the money is transferred; the scammer disappears leaving the victim broken hearted and financially bankrupt. The chances of recovery of funds or prosecution are very difficult. If something seems too good to be true, often it is.
Stalkers, Pervs, And Felons
Some online dating sites require criminal background checks, which can be easily thwarted by motivated individuals but not all as some believe it infringes on human rights. Online dating sites may also be regulated requiring a list of safety measures designed to increase awareness of safer dating practices be provided as a minimum. Before getting involved with someone do your research to see if the person your willing to invest in is worth the effort.
Never input sensitive information or payment details on any dating site that doesn’t implement standard web encryption. On any web form before inputting information look toward the address bar for a secured lock symbol. This means the site is secured via an SSL (Secure Socket Layer) certificate and uses HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) to ensure information gets encrypted both sent and received online. This is important especially if you’re accessing the dating site from a public Internet connection such as a coffee shop and wards off eavesdroppers monitoring the wireless connection and keeps your account from being hijacked.
Shopping For A Mate
The abundance of eligible partners can lead many to devalue their current partner or simply treat dates as commodities, which is a disillusioned way of thinking if the goal is to find true love. After all, in every serious relationship comes a moment of conflict and having a vast pool of potential partners may discourage any sustained effort in resolving those issues. Therefore, without the experience or desire to handle these situations, self-doubt or blaming the other partner is the pattern that can develop. Sometimes you need to work on yourself before you can be happy with anyone else.
Defamation, Slander, AND Damage Of Your Reputation
What we discuss online about love, sex, dating, relationships, and marriage can range from embarrassing to devastating with out any proof or chance for rebuttal. Sure you can go through the lengthy and costly process of suing for slander or defamation but even if you win, you’ll lose. You see, the attention you gain over negative attention often highlights your reputation even more poorly than if no defence were made. Bad online reputation have lead to job lose and lower credit scores therefore it is in your best interest to be mindful of what personal information and photos you choose to share.
Already have a decent reputation than consider protecting it through preventively measures using online reputation management (ORM). It takes awhile to establish a trusted relationship with customers and only a few moments to ruin it. Our offline reputation management and online reputation management services can act as insurance in the case of negative feedback by always generating credibility and authority. Before an issue arises.
Do you use Offline Reputation Management or Online Reputation Management (ORM) to help protect your reputation? Have you got any Online Reputation Management (ORM) tips and tricks to share with other business owners out there? If at any time you get stuck or need further assistance than feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.