This informative article was originally published by AskMen UK.
If the announcement this week of the AdultFriendFinder hack has frozen you in your love-tapped tracks, you could be wondering if all of your online and app-based dating exploits are safe.
After all, it’s on the list of largest data breaches ever recorded, with some 412 million accounts round the global world compromised. It employs last year’s Ashley Madison hack , which revealed the facts of 37 million users of the extra-marital affair dating site.
Let’s face it: in 2016, we all have been vulnerable to a data hack, whether our devices are storing state security secrets, or the telephone amounts of three girls we’d want to a lot more than virtually click with. And what, with the NSA working its global surveillance project ever, in addition to the evidence that the encryption credentials of https even, VPN and 4G are fallible, it’s enough for just about any man of dignity and some dodgy internet searches in his browser to retreat into Luddite tactics of only hitting the neighborhood pub in want of a romantic date.
Thankfully, there are a few workarounds.
1. Use A Unique EMAIL
From the AdultFriendFinder hack came the revelation of multiple UK government email addresses used to join up accounts. Basics: avoid your projects or personal email once you register with the website; it requires two minutes to create a fresh account on Gmail and you also know you’re only apt to be receiving junk notifications anyway, that you don’t want sending to your daytime desktop really.
2. Hack-Proof Your Password
It’s amazing how many people avoid top-notch passwords – a Facebook hack this week revealed an impressive 120,000 people used 123456 as theirs actually. The most effective passwords contain a mixture of letters, numbers and also other characters if possible, and are also not repeated on other sites. If an app requires a phrase, make an effort to scramble grammatical convention and steer clear of whatever makes an easily memorable sentence – eschew ‘cat in the hat’ for ‘stable stone going monkey’, for instance. You’ve heard it 100 times, but avoid obviously memorable dates – your birthday, or that of a detailed friend or relative. You have to update your password every six months but forget about often. Researchers at the University of Carolina discovered that users who did change their passwords more often tended to utilize variations on a style of previous passwords, thereby making them simpler to hack. Instead, it’s easier to create a more technical password that you change less often.
3. Choose An App That Fits Your Privacy Needs Best
Dating apps are split into two categories – the ones that use Facebook or LinkedIn to verify your identity, and the ones that don’t. You could find benefits to both.
It’s more developed that Tinder meshes so well with Facebook that users can track you right down to your Facebook profile in just a matter of minutes. For a variety of reasons (usually connected with your Facebook privacy settings), that isn’t desirable for multitudes of individuals – who would like a potential date looking into once you last updated your relationship status? And imagine if you don’t want friends and family on Facebook to learn you’re propositioning a mutual connection, particularly when it hasn’t even come off yet?
That is why an app like BeLinked that verifies you through LinkedIn may be preferable. After all, really the only information you’re directly alert to is who your potential paramour has collaborated with during office hours. As CEO Max Fischer explains, You will find a greater component of accountability with linking during your LinkedIn profile. It could ensure users with a lot of mutual connections are on the most courteous behaviour. But alternatively, if you screw up, your story could end up being the subject of water cooler conversation.”
The other option is by using an app it doesn’t require a Facebook account – such as OkCupid or Plenty of Fish The benefits of this are obvious – greater anonymity, no risk of cross-contamination nor that dodgy photoset from Ibiza 2012 sullying your chances with your shortlist.
Given that these types of apps aren’t just drawing info from established profiles, the downside is that they prompt users to input extensive data about their preferences and predilections. Think about it – don’t put anything in a dating app that isn’t already public knowledge, unless you really don’t mind it becoming public knowledge (such as a preference for fly-fishing). You might find yourself pouring your heart out onto the profile page in a way you wouldn’t even do after five shots of mezcal. Plus, with OkCupid, there’s an extensive sexual preferences survey, which most people seem to find entertaining on a lonely Friday night. These types of apps give you more control over your privacy, just as long as you exercise some self-control.
4. Avoid Geo-Locating Apps
Finding out that the hottie you’ve been watching for a week walks down your road every evening can add an extra frisson to the possibility of crossing paths. That’s why apps such as Tinder or Happn , which highlight the proximity of your matches, can make the dating game feel that tiny bit less like roulette. Alternatively, embark on a bad date with someone in your locale and it’s really a ball-ache to control the anxiety that is included with worrying if you’ll bump into them ever after.
And there’s the worst-case scenario – imagine if you attract a bona-fide Gone Girl who is able to figure out wherever you live? In 2014 Back, Tinder found itself in warm water when it turned out revealed that its geo-location method could enable users found because of the latitude and longitude. Unless you need to be tracked because of your exact coordinates, choose an app that allows you to stipulate your current location without tracking your movements, such as Bumble, unless you approve otherwise.
5. AVOID Dating Service Ads
It’s a sad undeniable fact that internet dating sites are awash with fake profiles – many which have been produced by the organisation itself. A 2013 investigation by Panorama found that some dating professionals were actually selling information culled from other online services to purposefully create profiles, which led to an investigation by the knowledge Commissioner’s Office.
In a sneakier However, more complicit move, internet dating sites can in fact develop a profile using your data if you select an ad because of the services on a distinct segment site like Facebook – the click equals consent.
The solution is simple, then – don’t click through to a dating service on a whim. Do your research via Google, instead of download an app via not the initial, registered organization.
6. Choose A Service IT DOESN’T Sell Your Data
The major players in the dating industry have extensive and established databases of an incredible number of genuine members. But new services are springing up each day, so when they do, they are generally buying their initial database from another company which gives a ‘white label’ database.
What’s more, there’s usually a sub-clause nestled deep in the terms and conditions that informs you that your information will be used by affiliates, and this is how they bypass this being truly a simple breach of one’s privacy. So how is it possible to learn if the service you’re using does this, lacking reading those cs and ts?
Well, adhere to the major players: Tinder, Howaboutwe, CoffeeMeetsBagel – or with elite or home-grown start-up apps, just like the Inner HerSmile or Circle, that specifically stipulate they’ll sell your computer data never.
7. Avoid Unsafe Subscriptions
Here is a conundrum. Research done on an individual connection with dating services finds that folks who purchase their products tend to be committed to making genuine connections. Simultaneously, any online transaction posesses potential fraud risk, based on how tight the security is surrounding its operation. Just how have you any idea as user when it’s safe to splash the cash?
Cosmo Currey, CEO of HerSmile explains: A transaction is safe if it goes through a service that is PSI compliant, a hard-to-reach standard which is generally held by banks and Paypal. Our app uses a PSI – compliant service called Braintree, which is related to Paypal, to process payment for our services. It means that we never hold any user’s credit card information, and that we’re never in danger of leaking or losing that info.”
So you’re looking for authentication of your purchase by your bank, or the use of Paypal. Be wary of any other pro-forma, and look out for reassurance that the service will not hold details of your card numbers or bank account.

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