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Tinder might be one of the most popular dating apps for smartphone users, but unfortunately, this popularity can come with some downsides. In addition to general online dating concerns, there are some unique safety issues associated with Tinder. Since there are so many problems associated with Tinder, users need to exercise some caution when using the app. It is still possible to use the app without compromising your safety, but Tinder users should be aware of how to avoid potential problems. You can avoid a huge problem by running a background report on your Tinder date.

Safety Concerns Associated With Tinder

To understand the safety issues caused by Tinder, it is useful to answer the question, “how does Tinder work?” Tinder works by linking a Facebook profile to your account, and then you can then swipe left to ignore or swipe right to approve of profiles for other people in your area. You can then chat with mutual matches and set up dates to meet them in person. Because of the unusual features of the app, users may encounter these problems.

Giving Strangers Access to Personal Information

Since Tinder is connected with Facebook, using Tinder allows people to view your Facebook information. This means that strangers can learn all about you even if you have not matched with them. Another problem is that it is hard to tell if a person is trustworthy based on a few photos and messages. Some unscrupulous people share private pictures or messages sent over Tinder for their own amusement.

Being Scammed by Fake Profiles

A lot of people use Tinder as a way to make money off of unsuspecting strangers looking for romance. A common scam is “catfishing,” where a user makes a fake profile with pictures of an attractive person and then tries to convince people to give them money. These fake profiles might try to convince you to click on virus-filled links, share credit card information, or give away personal details. Another type of Tinder scam is a profile that connects to a camgirl account. Though the person is definitely real, they are not just looking for a hookup or relationship. Instead, they will try to charge you money to spend time with them.

Encountering Dangerous Strangers

Of course, the biggest thing people are worried about when asking “is Tinder safe?” is the possibility of being assaulted or harmed by a person they meet on the app. Unfortunately, there have been quite a few examples of a Tinder match leading to a person being stalked or assaulted. Unlike the real world, you typically do not have access to body language or unconscious clues about whether or not the person is a creep. Because there is some anonymity associated with online dating, sexual offenders and other dangerous people can use Tinder without revealing their true identity.

How to Use Tinder Safely

All the potential risks associated with Tinder might make it seem scary, but taking a few smart precautions can keep you safe. Follow this safe dating code to meet people on Tinder without getting stuck in dangerous situations.

Be Cautious of Giving Away Personal Information

Wait a while before telling a potential Tinder date your full name, email, place of work, or personal phone number. This can cut down on the possibility of unpleasant stalking or identity theft. You should also be careful about sharing intimate photos or messages with a person you just met on Tinder. It may be a good idea to set up a secondary Facebook profile to user on Tinder. Not only does this hide some of your personal information, but it also prevents employers or conservative family members from seeing that you use a dating app.

Research Potential Dates

Though you do not always need to run a full background check on a date, it is a good idea to research the person a little bit. View their social media accounts, and run their name through a criminal database. Be wary of Tinder accounts that have no personal biography and only a single picture because these may be false profiles. If possible, encourage the match to send you an impromptu photo of themselves. This will help you to be certain that the person is actually the person you are seeing in the Tinder profile.

Arrange Your Own Transportation

Until you get to know the person, you should try to avoid situations that end up with you in their car. Offers to pick you up from your home are a particularly bad idea because then you are letting the person know where you live. Even if riding in a date’s car does not lead to scary situations like kidnappings, relying on the other person for transportation means that you cannot leave in a hurry if the date is going badly.

Always Meet in Public

Though it is nice to be optimistic about a Tinder date, safe dating does require you to take a few precautions. No matter how well you get along with the person on Tinder, never meet with them in an isolated area like your home, their home, or an empty forest. Good first options for Tinder dates include getting a coffee together or taking a walk in a busy park. This gives you the chance to assess the situation and see if you notice any red flags while remaining in a safe location.