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Feb 14, 2017

Industry insights,

Vigilant Valentine’s

It’s that time of year again where we all rush out to book a romantic candle lit meal for two, or stop off at the shops for the nominal box of chocs and some flowers. For some, though, this time of year can make them even more susceptible to cybercrime, in the quest to find that perfect partner.

It’s fair to say, as we start to exist in a digital world, finding a partner has taken a new and digital shape. We are now far more likely to swipe, poke or instant message a would-be suitor, than we are to casually bump into them in a shop or bar. However, the one inherent flaw with internet dating is that our inhibitions are far lower when we are trying to find ‘the one’ online. That vulnerability combined with the sense of urgency that can often be an additional motivation at this time of year is leaving these individuals at a greater risk of being compromised online.

These are our five steps for staying safe this Valentine’s.

When considering using a dating site, only sign up to trusted and established websites

There are a plethora of options available for online dating, and websites that are designed for that sole purpose are popular at this time of year. Do the research first and make sure your preferred platform is a trusted and reputable business. There will be scammers out there trying to get you to sign up and part with your payment details and all you’ll be left with is a significant hole in your wallet.

Don’t be fooled into using email

Okay, so you’ve found a match and you’ve been getting on well. Don’t be too quick to move to email. Get to know the person well before you opt for an insecure communication method. Firstly, the messaging services within online dating sites are designed with safety in mind, as they will be able to offer you more support should anything go wrong. Secondly, if you start to use email, you’ll not be able to protect your identity.

Don’t give away too much information

Equally, where possible try not to give too much information away. In the long run, protecting your identity should be a top priority until you can be 100% sure the person you are speaking with is genuine.

Use social media wisely

As a rule, it’s a good idea to keep social media for contacts that you have made in person rather than over an online space. Your social media profiles are likely to give away far more of your personal information than is wise to share with people you don’t actually know.

Keep it well-lit and public

When you do decide to meet up with your potential match, make sure you do it in a public location, somewhere well-lit and busy. Alternatively, you could even consider doing a double date with a friend. Either way, make sure you keep your own personal safety top priority.

Hopefully, these tips will go some way to keeping your wits about you with more vigilance this Valentine’s.