Millions of people are using online dating sites to search for love or connection, but users should beware: many online dating sites are taking short cuts in safeguarding the privacy and security of users.
Whether it’s due to counter-intuitive privacy settings or serious security flaws, users of online dating profiles risk their privacy and security every day.
In fact, dating sites have an impetus for maintaining your informationwhat if things don’t work out and you want to reactivate your profile in a few months?
Photos in particular can linger long after you’ve deleted them or closed your account due to many large websites hosting user-uploaded photos with Content Delivery Networks.Here are six sobering facts about online dating services and a few suggestions for routing around the privacy pitfalls. Your dating profileincluding your photos—can hang around long after you’ve moved on.Whether you signed up on a lark or maintained an active profile for several years, your online dating profile can be lurking around long after you’ve cancelled the account.But in Bonneau’s experiment with 16 popular websites, removing the photo from the main website didn't always remove it from the Content Delivery Network; in those cases, anyone who still had the destination URL would be able to view the photo.
This means that Content Delivery Networks can maintain caches of sensitive photos even after users “delete” them, leaving photos vulnerable to being rediscovered or even hacked in the future.
If you decide to sign up for a dating site, consider taking a few steps to make it harder for a dating site to easily identify you.