Match is working in partnership with Suzy Lamplugh Trust to ensure our members a safer dating experience. The Trust was founded in 1986 by Paul and Diana Lamplugh, after their daughter Suzy went missing while working as an estate agent. It is the UK’s only personal safety charity committed to creating a safer society for all. Their mission is to campaign, educate and support people to help reduce the risk of violence and aggression for everyone. Here are some of their recommendations when dating online.
Be aware of geotagging
Geotagging is a way of storing information within your photos. You might not know it but photos taken on your phone are ‘tagged’ with the location that they were taken. This makes it easier for your phone to keep your photos organised and put them into location or time-based albums. But what it also means is that people can potentially stalk you by accessing the information stored in your photos.
For a clearer picture of what we’re talking about here’s a quick video:
The good news is you can adjust the settings on your phone to stop it assigning location information to your photos. You can also remove geotagging information from existing images by looking for free EXIF editors online.
For further information on geotagging click here.
Don’t register your Match account to your main email address
Consider using a new email or lesser used email address when setting up a Match account, one that if hacked, does not have all your bank details, shopping accounts, contacts etc.
Don’t give out confidential information in your profile
Avoid being too specific about where you live, work or socialise in your profile. When chatting with someone online it’s better to talk about where you’ve been rather than where you’re going, for example “I went to an amazing gig in Camden last night” as opposed to “I’m going to Meat Liquor tomorrow night with friends”.
Run Google image search
Did you know it’s possible to search images in Google? If you have any doubts about the person you are chatting to save their photo to your computer using a snipping tool, go to Google image search, click the camera icon and upload the image. Google will let you know if that image exists elsewhere on the internet and will help you determine whether it’s been stolen from another website.
On a date, don’t leave your drink unattended
Be cautious on first dates about leaving anything unattended such as your drink, your phone or your bag.
Be careful about sending nude photos
Think carefully before sharing nude photos. There has been an increase in ‘revenge porn’ whereby one individual has blackmailed or coerced the other with the compromising photos they have received. It’s okay to say no if you don’t feel comfortable sending photos of this nature.
If you are reporting an incident of stalking it’s advisable to screenshot any conversations before deleting your account. This can form vital evidence as a part of any criminal investigation.
If you believe you are the victim of stalking…S.T.O.P
Say no – Tell the person once that you do not want any further contact then do not respond to them anymore.
Take Notes – Keep a diary and save evidence like text messages, emails and screenshots of any online activity. Make a note of other witnesses who may have been present.
Options – Call the National Stalking Helpline to discuss your options. Tell others.
Police – Stalking behaviour is illegal and the police can take action
To read our golden rules to dating please visit this page.