The use of photo editing tools also becomes blatantly obvious, which can be a cause for some embarrassment. Ensure you remove identifying metadata from photos before posting them onto your dating profile.
You forgot that the internet is forever. A single mistake made months earlier can haunt you. You realized a few days later that it was too much of a privacy give-away, and made the wise choice to switch to a new photo. You might not be out of the woods. Search engines and archive sites are continually indexing as much content as they can from the internet. These sites retain cached copies of images and pages long after they are changed or erased at the original source.
Somebody with malicious intent may use this to their advantage when trying to correlate your dating profile to other web content. He or she will very likely check search engine caches for old pictures or bios that are easier to identify or contain embarrassing details. If that professional headshot is still in a cache associated with your dating profile, he or she can use Tineye to match it to your corporate bio that shares the same photograph.
The bottom line is: If you post data which compromises your privacy or reputation to your profile, remove it immediately and consider starting fresh with an entirely new profile. If needed, pursue sites and search engines to remove what they can and will , and disassociate your online identity as much as possible from the content. Minor details tell a larger story about you.
This is open source intelligence The individual facts and conversations you post on dating sites might not give away your identity, but as a collective whole, they may.
Did you post that you live in Milwaukee, tell a user that you live in an apartment with a pool, and tell another that you live next to an airport? These pieces of information put together say a lot more about your location than they do individually.
Pay attention to details. How much information are you providing in private conversations with other users? The number one open source intelligence source that people with evil intent will try to use against you, or to identify you, is your social media profiles.
You joined your social media profile to your dating site account. I highly recommend using an entirely new and separate email account to sign up for a private dating profile. If the site in question absolutely requires linking a social media account, start a new one without unnecessary personal details.
You forgot that social engineering and catfishing happen, and can happen to you. No matter who you are, which gender you are, what you do for a living, or how much money you make, you can be a target for fraud or social engineering. Somebody who wants to manipulate or identify you on a dating site may attempt to gain your trust before drawing you into a trap. If something seems too good to be true, it probably is. Be very cognizant of members leading you into revealing unusual personal details, compromising photos, or financial information.
Dating sites are fair game to cyber-criminals. Dating online, like the rest of our lives, carries some inherent risk. For example, this risk may be to your reputation if your profile or behavior with other users were publicized, or to your personal safety if your location or identity were compromised. Online dating is a great option for many people and many healthy relationships exist today because of it.
Even if you are meticulous in protecting your online presence, there will always be circumstances outside your control. What would the consequences be if the site were breached, and your identity and interactions were posted online or sent to your employer or family?
If somebody successfully identified you, how easy would it be to find your street address or place of business? Like any other activity that carries some significant risk, you must consider these types of questions and make your own informed decision.