Affairs of the Heart – There’s an App for That
Why has dating gone digital in today’s world? One explanation is the mobility of people now compared to decades past. People used to find work locally once their education was through. Now, though, it’s common for university graduates to consider job offers from all over Australia. Families are sometimes scattered on the continent, and traditional avenues for meeting people are scarce.
Once you’re serious about a potential partner, having a background check will tell you everything you need to know about them. But in the meantime, visiting dating sites and chatting with prospective partners is more common than ever. Here are some tips for staying safe and protecting your privacy in the digital dating scene.
The advent of dating apps has given people a chance to meet and get to know others who they have something in common with. Finding a date with similar likes, dislikes and interests aren’t hard with the proliferation of dating websites and apps. Unfortunately, you have no way of knowing whether the self-reported details of a prospective dating partner are genuine.
It’s a good idea to message each other a few times and talk on the phone once or twice before meeting up. Lunch is a great first date since it takes place in a shorter timeframe than a dinner date. Meeting at the restaurant is best. That way, if you feel uncomfortable, you can leave early. There are now dating apps that specialise in certain kinds of matchups, too, such as Jewish singles, Christian singles, techies and foodies.
Encrypted Chat Apps
These days, many people prefer texting and chatting to talking on the phone. But every time you use an unsecured app to chat up that new dating prospect, your data is at risk. It could be used for something fairly innocuous like targeted advertising, but it could also be used for more sinister purposes like:
- Account access: collecting contact lists and e-mail addresses to sell
- Microphone access: recording phone conversations
- Device access: taking remote control of your phone and tracking your location
- SMS permission: hijacking your messenger app for spam
Encrypted messaging tools create a defensive barrier to data and identity theft. End-to-end encryption scrambles the message when it’s sent and only allows the recipient to unscramble it. According to TechRadar, though, some of the best encrypted messaging apps still collect your information for advertising purposes, and you sometimes have to actively turn on the encryption. Your best bet is to chat through an encrypted app you trust rather than through an unknown dating site.
Hidden Photo Calculators
These clever apps have icons that look like calculators – boring, right? It’s doubtful that someone snooping for information on your phone would click on the icon, so it’s the perfect place to hide private photos and files. As a further barrier to discovery, if anyone clicks on the app’s icon, they’ll access a real, working calculator. All you have to do is enter your passcode on the calculator screen to access everything, or you can use fingerprint recognition to open your vault.
To hide sensitive information, just drag and drop files and photos into the app. But be sure and get rid of your factory-loaded calculator icon if you don’t want anyone catching on that there’s a privacy vault on your phone. With a secret calculator, you don’t have to worry about a date or anyone else swiping across your photo screen and finding nude photos or embarrassing snapshots of you and old boyfriends or girlfriends.