Online safety isn’t just about being exposed to people with bad intentions, cyber bullying or cyber stalking. The cyber-attack on Ashley Madison gave hackers access to profile data from 37 million users and proved you can never be 100% safe.
This comes as a shout for those who think it’s just fine to post any image on a dating website and who feel there’s nothing wrong with posting personal information on profiles.
In the UK alone there are about 1400 dating websites, over 7 million users and it is estimated that 25% of new relationships start online.
This means one thing. You can expect to find all types of individuals in online dating, with all kind of intentions.
Online affair privacy
If you’re wondering what risks you might be exposed to when using affair sites (often called casual dating), read this.
One of the biggest concerns for someone joining an online affair website is discretion. Just as in the real world, no one wants to be caught having an affair – or trying to.
Unfortunately you can’t predict or fully control the information you provide to a dating website. Sites like Ashley Madison tend to store your information even when you deleted the profile with them – and paid for the effect.
We suggest it’s not a fair trade, once you decide you no longer want to be part of a dating website/community you should have your data completely removed and forgotten, but that’s not the case.
In practical terms this means your deleted profile share some of the safety risks with active profiles.
How to better protect yourself
You need to take some actions to ensure you protect yourself. Whilst you should only join a dating website you know it’s secure and reliable, you also need to make sure you don’t make the wrong choices and expose yourself too much.
When joining an affair website your biggest concern has to be to protect your identity. You know this already, but perhaps you’re missing some important steps on how to make this happen.
Here’s a list of things to consider:
- Use the safest payment method, e.g., PayPal doesn’t share your card details;
- Don’t use full face photos on your profile;
- Don’t share your exact location, nearby is good enough;
- Setup a new email just for this purpose, don’t use your regular one;
- Don’t share personal information on your profile;
- Choose a random username which has nothing to do with you;
- Don’t use ‘private photos’ options to show all your photos;
This list sets a good ground for keeping your privacy safer and in the unlikely event of account hacking you can always get away without much exposure.
In a marital affair site looks count a lot and therefore you might want to be tempted to share good photos of yourself. But you don’t have or need to.
Being an affair site you can write a line on your profile explaining you’ll be happy to share more photos with someone you connect via messaging.
You can always take photos of some of your best features, or from behind, etc. Enough to arouse other member’s interest without having yourself exposed.
Now, about the ‘private photos’ feature so many affair site offer, you need to be aware you can always have those exposed, whether by another user who you permitted access or by having your account hacked.
In case you don’t know, this feature allows you to have photos only shown to members you give access to. Allowing them to see more of you.
Be careful when using this as you might get your photos to the wrong ‘hands’. If you trust that person, just send them an email or chat outside the website to share those. By doing this, you’re ensuring you don’t have your photos on the website database.
Can you be safe?
In general, you can. Whilst there isn’t 100% safe mode available, you’re likely to be fine as long as you take necessary steps protect yourself wisely.
With what happened to Ashley Madison most member will rush and delete their profile in the attempt of deleting tracks, but it’s all too late for that.
You need to consider the risks beforehand, take time planning what website to choose and how to go on about it.
Most safety rules apply to anyone joining an online dating site, but those looking to have an affair need to be extra cautious and aware of the bigger risks involved.