Advancements in Online Dating Call for Heightened Personal and Mobile Security
As online dating becomes an increasingly popular venue for romantic encounters, the options you have to meet a mate are growing as well. When you think of online dating, you may picture a site that allows you to browse your matches' profiles and photos, and for many sites, this is how it is done.
However, new online dating companies are springing up that offer services such as video chatting and speed dating on your computer and cell phone. This lets you see and hear the guys or gals you're interested in, rather than guessing what they're like based on photos and profile information. According to TechCrunch, VideoDate allows users to video chat with others, provided that each has approved the virtual meetup and has the ability to do so. Other services like Frimper allow singles to take part in video speed dating right from their home computers.
While these options allow people to get to know one another based on their personalities as well as their interests, there are privacy concerns you should take into account before firing up your webcam.
Consider your background
When you arrange a video chat with a stranger, no matter how charming he or she seems to be, you should think about where you're going to be when you turn your camera on. Whatever is behind you will be on screen for your date to see, so you may not want to freely offer clues to your personal information. For example, sitting outside for the video chat could reveal a distinct landmark that would allow the other person to figure out where you live.
Whichever service you're using to video date, you should be sure to read over their policies to ensure your personal information will be protected. If anything seems suspicious, you may not want to use the site. There are viruses called Remote Access Trojan-type viruses (RATs) that allow hackers to gain access to your webcam, so they can record your activity without your knowledge and even find a way into your computer to steal your personal information.
Stay cautious after your virtual date
Just because someone comes across as a great catch on video, you should still play it safe. If the two of you decide to exchange phone numbers, use a second mobile number. This way, if your match turns out to be a criminal, he or she will not be able to get very far into your personal information, as a virtual number is not attached to any of your data.