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Staying safe when using online dating apps

Staying safe when using online dating apps

Before you meet:

  • Reverse Image Search (2nd website) their profile picture + other images on their account, this will show you if they’re using the images elsewhere (different names or impersonating someone else)
  • Don’t provide your personal details straightaway, just your first name (or better still just a username). Remember it’s VERY easy to find someones exact home address if you know their full name + rough location
  • Ensure the privacy of your other social media profiles is adequate (Facebook / Instagram / Twitter / Snapchat / Linked In). Remember they will possibly be doing a reverse image search on your image and if that pulls up your full Facebook account that is full of check in locations etc it’s an open invitation for a stalker etc.
  • Once you’ve become friendly with someone ensure you do your own research into them, checking their other social profiles, web search to check they’re who they say they’re
  • Don’t do anything on webcam or send any naughty images etc until you can trust that person, we’ve seen horrible stories of people recording footage and then blackmailing for money
  • Avoid anyone that asks for money, wants to send you money or is pushy about getting more information about you
  • Have an alias mobile phone number just for dating (think of it as a throwaway phone number in case you get a crazy stalker) also very useful for competition entries etc
  • See if you’ve got any friends in common


What about the first date?

  • Always tell a trusted friend (or several) where you’re going, who you’re meeting and ask them to text you through-out the evening or ensure that you and your friend agree to contact each other at the end of the date
  • Turn on ‘find my friends (iOS)‘ or ‘Locate My Friends (Android)‘ so your trusted friend knows where you’re for the evening (well your phone at least).
  • Meet in a public place with lots of people
  • Use your own transportation to/from the date (don’t let them pick you up), this ensures they don’t know your home address
  • Keep all your personal items close to you
  • Watch your drink at all times, 99% of people are safe but as always it’s the 1% that ruin it for everyone. Just watch this video to see how quick and easy it can happen:
  • Be careful with your alcohol consumption
  • If you’re feeling uncomfortable then just make your excuses and leave
  • Setup an emergency autocorrect message, e.g. typing ‘456′ into a text message to a friend automatically writes the following “Something has gone wrong, I’m at the location I told you about with the person I told you I’d be with and you need to ring the Police. This is a pre-written message that I made a shortcut for. I am not ok. Send help immediately”


How do I setup an emergency autocorrect shortcut?

This probably isn’t the best place to mention it but this technique is also great to prank your mates e.g. every time they type ‘Thanks’ it autocorrects to read ‘Yeh I hate you’


  • Navigate to Settings >> General >> Keyboard >> Shortcuts
  • Tap the + in the top right corner. Name your shortcut “456” (or any other short combination that you will remember) and paste the message into the box labeled “phrase.” Save.
  • Practice opening the message app, typing the shortcut and sending (send to yourself). Repeat this a few times just so you know without thinking about it, those seconds could help you


  • Go to Settings -> Language & input -> tap on the settings icon for Google Keyboard. Keep in mind, if your phone has an OEM skin, things might be named differently or a little out of place.
    With the Google Keyboard already open on your screen, long-press the microphone button for the settings icon, then tap on Google Keyboard Settings.
  • Tap on Personal dictionary
  • Tap the ‘+’ icon in the top right
  • Enter your emergency phrase and your shortcut “456” etc.
  • If you have multiple languages set up, you may want to change the language dropdown to target all languages.
  • Hit the back button to save

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