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How to Avoid the Dangers of Mobile Dating Apps

Posted On   date19/03/2015

How to Avoid the Dangers of Mobile Dating Apps

Online dating constitutes a $2.2-billion-dollar industry nowadays, with mobile growing exponentially. Apps for mobile devices are available almost for anything you can think of. People navigate, work out, shop and, of course, try to find love using mobile apps. (What are apps? They are applications or programs that are primarily used on cell phones.) The real-time interactions attract people every day to messaging services like Whatsapp –which has close to 700 million users globally-, and for those looking to meet new people, there are many dating apps available. People rely on their smartphones for pretty much everything these days, and this in a way represents a serious risk. Do you know who is keeping track of all your moves? Do you have GPS tracking enabled? Have you ever thought that giving your location can put you in the perfect spot to be victim of scam, kidnapping and other crime?

Check your social media, online dating, cell phone, browser and other internet and website settings to be sure your GPS location data settings are turned off or disabled, so the government, companies and criminals can’t track you.

International investigators have been paying close attention to fraud cases that originate through mobile apps, especially in online dating scams. Some dating apps use GPS to locate the users and work on finding a match that is physically close. For the users, sharing locations is just part of what is expected to happen, and they actually feel safe about it. (Not knowing the risk and serious dangers). Hackers and criminals, not to mention the government and companies who violate and profit from your data, love to get their hands on this information. Knowing where you are and when is valuable, and privacy experts and law enforcement agree it’s a very bad idea to share it. Criminals love to know when you’re home and when you’re not! Think twice before sharing this information on any app, media or website. Even if you don’t mean to, you could be sharing your movement by not opting out or disabling your GPS or location tracking information. If you use Facebook or Google, it’s very important you check your settings. It may be profitable for them to violate your privacy, but crime victims say they wish they knew just how dangerous this can be.

When you share your location, it basically means anyone can track you down to your home, work, the places where you go often, etc. Many users are unaware of the risks involved and use mobile apps carelessly. The U.S. government loves for people to have a cell phone, because even without a warrant, government agencies and contractors can monitor your movement. For additional privacy, consider a pre paid cell phone with not contract or plan. Such plans have come a long way and are actually less expensive, and you can even buy unlocked iPhones directly from Apple.

In the past, big Internet companies have been questioned about how they manage the privacy of their users and about the destination of the data they collect. Many people have had terrible experiences, from a “simple thing” like revealing a secret to all their contacts, to being in real danger due to a stalker or blackmail. Ask any police department in the country, and they can likely confirm they’ve had at least one assault or homicide case where the criminal used the victim’s geo tracking information in the steps leading up to the crime. But the response has been almost the same from most Internet companies: the privacy settings are available and it is users´ responsibility to make sure their data is protected.

To protect your privacy, and to keep you and your family members safe, remember to share less online and less on apps.  If using a dating app, for example, never share your real date of birth or address with someone you’ve never met in person.

Companies and Internet businesses make a profit from keeping track of people’s activities. A big part of their business is to routinely share, store and keep track of everyday details of people’s lives.  Keeping a private life has become a serious responsibility of each and every one of us. No one wants to be a victim of crime or identity theft. Individuals now face a big challenge, keeping a private life is not easy and the situation is only getting worse, thanks to a government that is corrupt, and powerful data broker and internet companies who have the power to influence Washington.

International private investigators recommend keeping the apps you download on your smart phone to a minimum, and always read the fine print and privacy settings. Review your social media sharing and GPS and tracking information. If you can’t opt out, consider closing the account.

Losing control online is more than a technology problem—it’s a sociological turning point.

Avoid risky behaviors in mobile dating sites, get informed and share useful information on how to protect privacy and leave no tracks of your daily activities. Whether you’re looking for a no-strings-attached date or a long-term relationship, these tips can help you find and connect with that special someone and be safe at the same time. Lastly, if you’ve met someone online via a dating website or dating app, get a professional dating background check to lower your risk.  Anyone can be a victim, so get clear evidence early in the relationship.

C. Wright
© 2015 Wymoo International
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