Finding No Security Online? You’re Not Alone.

by - Friday, January 03, 2014

A website asks you to create a profile, so you come up with a sturdy password and a sleek username, thinking that the site will keep your information safe.  After adding all sorts of things, like credit card numbers and your billing address, it becomes apparent that somehow, your details have spread elsewhere on the web.  How many times does this have to happen to people before corporations put their feet down and stop selling or losing information?

Most would like to think that online dating sites never share member data with other parties, but it’s difficult to guarantee.  Sometimes hackers break into their computer systems and steal passwords and identification, which is what happened to over a million eHarmony users in July 2012.  Does this mean that the other millions of people on all the other online dating sites also need to worry about their passwords appearing on Russian forums?

Scariest in this view of data-stealing is the fact that it only takes one lascivious person using stolen information to make a person’s life terrible.  “Personal information about women has been hacked and stolen...If such information fell into the hands of predatory sex offenders or stalkers, the consequences would be horrific.” says Paladin co-founder Harry Fletcher.  Paladin is a new UK-based stalking advocacy non-profit that works to urge online dating sites to be more careful with their customer’s information, as well as provide better ways to report abuse.

Emails being sold to spammers is one thing; if your home address and personal phone number land in the hands of a stalker, the situation deteriorates.  Most people can handle directing spam to the junk folder, but dealing with a stalker can rob you of your life, your sanity, and your happiness.  So, sites like Christianmingle must put safety first to protect their members from mayhem.

Domestic violence is nothing to chuckle about, but if no one ever reports occurrences or tries to do anything about it, there will continue to be victims all over the world.  Part of it is education, yes, and using common sense, but many victims never see it coming.  Online dating may or may not be safer than traditional dating, but for it to continue to have a safe environment, everyone needs to work together to provide the correct tools to the masses. Members also need to do their part by not disclosing any identifying information to members they barely know. Avoid anyone asking you for money. Always meet in public places for dates and be sure someone else knows where you are and when you’ll return. In addition, be sure to use your own mode of transportation for all dates. Lastly, check your potential mate through the many online checkers available to search for their marital history, sexual offenses, and criminal record. The online world provides tremendous opportunity for meeting new people; however, it must be done with caution and wisdom.

Doward, J. and Urquhart, C. Dating sites accused of failing to protect women from men with history of abuse.  Retrieved on September 24, 2013 from theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2013/sep/07/stalking-harassment-online-dating-sites

By ChristianCrush team. ChristianCrush.com aims to be the most authentic, innovative, and trustworthy site on the web for believers to connect. They were invited to post on our blog to share their expertise on how to safe while dating online. To get in touch with ChristianCrush, please find them on Google Plus.

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