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How to be Safe on Dating Apps?

Here are some steps you can take to be more secure on these apps.

Woman holding cell phone with Tinder app

Photo: Unsplash

LatinAmerican Post| Juan Manuel Londoño

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In Colombia, the alarm has been raised in recent times, particularly in the city of Medellín, where 6 members of the LGBT community have been murdered in recent days after dating through the Grindr application. The mayor of Medellín, Daniel Quintero, offered a reward of up to 80 million pesos for people who provide information about these murders. Facing this situation, we decided to make a short list of measures you can take to be safer on dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, and others.

Recognize the signs of a suspicious profile

The best way to stay safe on these apps is to avoid suspicious profiles in the first place. Learn to recognize the signs that a profile is fake, or trying to scam you. If the person only has a photo or nothing written on their bio, it may be a fake profile. You can use tools like Google Chrome's reverse image search engine to check if the images they have on their profile are real.

There are some behaviors that are also signs of a fake profile. For example, those who ask you for personal data, such as your phone number or your address. They may also try to convince you to talk on an app other than the dating app.

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These signs vary in each case, the important thing is that you realize the discrepancies in the person's history. For example, a person who in his biography has a high level of education but when he writes in chat he has many spelling and writing errors.

Recommendations for the meeting place

Before making an appointment, it is best to talk to the person by video call, to make sure that they are the person you are trying to meet. It is better that, the first time you choose a place that you know intimately, preferably one that is public and has high visibility.

Additionally, it is a good idea to contact a friend and tell them that you are going to be on this date. You can make use of the features of certain applications, such as WhatsApp, that allow them to see your location for a certain period of time, to be extra safe. You can also tell them that you will send them updates every certain period of time.

If you feel uncomfortable at any point during the appointment, you can ask the staff of the place where you are for support. The bartenders and waiters can assist you in case you need any help. It is worth mentioning that, on the first meeting, it is always wise to order your own drinks and your own food.

Finally, we recommend you use your intuition. If you feel uncomfortable or threatened in any situation, it is better to leave the appointment as such than to risk it. There are many more fish in the sea.