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That probably can’t be completely avoided, but if you use an app that requires both parties to express interest before they start messaging, you may get fewer messages that make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable. Pay attention to the geography settings in dating apps. It is easy to do a reverse image search with Google.

Many dating apps use your location, but strangers shouldn’t have access to information that lets them find your specific neighborhood. If your dating profile has a photo that also shows up on your Instagram or Facebook account, it will be easier for someone to find you on social media. Avoid putting lots of personal details on your profile.

To keep things simple, we reviewed eight of the most popular apps and developed a basic checklist of features that can affect users’ safety, security, and privacy.

Does it take more than just a few minutes to sign up?But some apps make it easier than others for users to find and contact one another.Grindr, for instance, allows you to search for people within the app.Do they have lots of information that would make it easy for a stranger to steal your identity or track you down in real life? It might be less convenient than texting with your phone’s default messaging system, but it gives you extra protection. Set up a Google Voice phone number just for dating.Reevaluate what you’re sharing—even if you’ve got tight privacy settings, there’s the possibility that someone in your friend list could share information from your profile with someone you don’t know. At some point, you may want to talk to someone on the phone before you meet them in person.

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