Virtual first dates might be a saviour


New Delhi, Dec 22

According to a survey run by India's homegrown dating app, QuackQuack, 67 percent of women prefer online dating over its traditional counterpart owing to the tight security and safety measures on these platforms.

The app's Founder and CEO, Ravi Mittal, commented: "Safety has always been one of the prime concerns when we think of dating, regardless of its mode.

As a dating app catering to 20 million users, we evolve and upgrade our security measures with time and the rise of new trends in the virtual world of dating. For instance, the App's moderators use parameters such as User Information, IP City, IP Country, OS Information, and more to track and suspend fake profiles."

To better their user safety practices, the App ran a survey among 15k participants from tier 1 and tier 2 cities, asking them their concerns about the safety issues on dating apps and how they deal with the same. 41 percent of these participants mentioned that one of the best ways to tackle any concerns about a new match is to go through a Virtual First Date before meeting in person. It gives both users enough time to gauge each other's behaviour and keep an eye out for any unusual demeanour, such as aggression, an overly intrusive nature, and other evident red flags.

Display Images Disclose Personality
Display image plays a huge part in online dating apps. 49 per cent of the female participants from tier 1 and 2 cities said they often choose a profile that displays a clear and smiling picture of the dater. Even better if there is at least one image with friends and family showing that this person has people they'll be answerable to in the event something unusual might transpire.

43 per cent of participants voiced their concerns about the rise of reverse image search technology and how easy it is for people to find you on social media if you happen to have the same display image for all your accounts. To maintain anonymity during the initial stages of connecting with a fellow dater, these participants recommend using separate photos for dating profiles and social media handles.

35 per cent of participants between the age of 26 and 30 opine that oversharing on dating profiles can be damaging. To safely navigate the online dating field, these users say they don't share their contact details, and social media handles on their dating profiles. There have been reports of scattered events where personal information has been misused on some platforms; hence it is best to share facts about yourself only after you get to know your match well enough.

Meeting IRL
48 per cent of daters from tier 1 and 2 cities, most of them working professionals, noted that before meeting your match in person, make sure to share your itinerary for the day with at least two of your closest friends or trusted family members. These participants mention meeting their matches in public spaces. For additional protection, they usually have a virtual first date and evaluate their match's personality as well as possible from behind the safety of a screen.

Financial Talks are Best Avoided
QuackQuack's survey shows that 39 per cent of men avoid matches that direct the conversation toward financial talks. The app recommends its users steer clear of such people and not fall for their compelling request for financial aid. The dating app also suggests its users report any such profiles to ensure no one else should have to go through the same ordeal as them.

Use the App Messenger
37 per cent of users above 30 who found their ideal match mentioned staying inside the app while they were in the connecting phase. It is better this way because you don't have to worry about some stranger having your phone number, not at least till you know them thoroughly enough to share it voluntarily. Additionally, these participants also mentioned that using the app to communicate with your match serves as an added layer of protection as you can report any obscenity or unusual behaviour.

Though dating apps strive to provide the utmost security to their users, most participants mentioned that treading the virtual dating world with caution and vigilance on the user's end is equally essential while talking about Safety on Dating Apps.

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