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Safety features that keep you secure on dating apps

Most dating apps have inbuilt safety features to keep your online dating experience secure
Last Updated : 30 June 2022, 02:35 IST
Last Updated : 30 June 2022, 02:35 IST

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The ease of meeting people through dating apps has a fair share of pros and cons. In the age of virtual connections, there's no dearth of apps that can help you meet interesting people specific to your gender, sexual orientation, age group, marital status, or any other requirement. However, it's essential to stay safe. Thankfully, there are several new features on dating apps that one could use to have a secure online experience.

Swipe mindfully

To safely navigate the world of online dating, many dating apps recommend not sharing your contact number or social media handles with the dating bio. There are instances where such information has been abused. Once you connect with someone and feel comfortable enough, you can share it with the particular person, recommends Ravi Mittal, founder and CEO of dating app QuackQuack.

"Once you create your profile, you must complete its 12-step verification," said Mittal to DH. "Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence track abusive, spam content and immediately suspends such accounts. We also screen profiles manually for added security, and the app does not let users publish their details in their profiles as a part of the safety measures.

"A solid piece of advice is to use a recent and clear image for your profile picture. Come up with a stellar bio; it speaks about you. And, keep updating it. While chatting, mention something that you read in your match's profile. It shows that it's not a generic message you send all."

Tread with caution

In the age of quick meet and greet, one also needs to be cautious of toxic matches, ghosting, and fishing while swiping for a potential match. Aahana Dhar, Communications Director at Tinder India, informs DH online about the intelligent product features such as photo verification, access to video chat, bio guidance, enhanced reporting, and prompts created for an authentic experience on the app.

She said Tinder's Safety Center gives members easy access to safety-related education, resources, tips, and guidance as they swipe.

"This feature was built with the invaluable counsel and support of several local NGOs and experts like Pink Legal, Humsafar Trust, One Future Collective, and Umang LGBT Support Group," said Dhar. "Additionally, in partnership with Yuvaa and Pink Legal, we also launched an interactive resource centre, which had information on the meaning of consent, navigating consent across stages of a relationship, how to ask and give consent, and the nuance of withdrawing consent. It includes advice on steps to take if your consent was breached, what the law says about it and how to substantiate a breach."

Privacy is paramount

While millennials and Gen Z are the most frequent users of dating apps, there are other age groups too that use such platforms for relationships. The past two years of the global pandemic have witnessed a surge in online activities across platforms, with online dating emerging as one of the main trends.

According to Sybil Shiddell, Country Manager India for Gleeden (an extramarital dating app), safeguarding one's privacy from ill intentions is paramount while navigating online dating platforms.

"Having been created specifically for married individuals, our members' privacy and safety is our top priority," said Shiddell. "Besides complying with the highest and up-to-date data protection protocols, we have a stringent moderation policy. We investigate every profile thoroughly to guarantee a community made only by real people.

"Apart from this, special safety features like The Discrete Icon option, The Panic Button, Shake to Exit, and Private Albums allow users that extra cushion of safety and discretion. Users can block unsolicited profiles anytime and put them on their private blacklists. They can also report fake or misbehaving profiles that can be disruptive for the entire community."

(The author is an independent journalist, free-thinker, and an avid traveller)

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Published 29 June 2022, 20:30 IST

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