Yeah, it’s tempting to post humblebrag photos of your new car or apartment on Instagram, but you may not realize just how much about yourself those little things can reveal.
In the interest of being over-prepared (again, not hot, but when have you ever regretted it?
) when you’re dating a stranger, we grilled experts—from CIA and FBI agents to privacy pros—about what women can do to keep themselves safe while they’re dating. Does that Bumble prospect really need to know where you were raised and your mother’s maiden name? “A stalker or predator can attempt to find you through this information,” says Mary Ellen O’Toole, a former FBI criminal profiler and author of “Even things like where you were born can give someone enough information to Google you through a people-finder and locate you.” Avoid!
It’s pretty common practice to switch over from Tinder or OKCupid to texting once a flirtation has been going on for a little while, but think twice before you hand over your phone number, says O’Toole.
“That phone is one more link to you and depending on their tech savvy, they can hack into your phone, track your whereabouts, or continuously text and call you.” Remember that once someone has certain info about you, there’s no taking it back.
If you knew ahead of time your date had a record, would you still go out with him or her?
I’m not saying you shouldn’t show off how hot you looked in that wrap dress or low-cut top on your League profile—just be careful if those are the only kinds of photos on there, because certain (sick) people could see this as their permission slip to take advantage of you.
“Not only are decent people online looking to meet a nice woman—but disturbed predators are, too,” says former FBI profiler Candice Delong.
(Adding pepper spray to your purse along with essentials like mascara or condoms?
Not sexy, to say the least.) We’re not here to give you a buzzkill lecture, but we are here to remind you that putting too much of yourself out there too fast can put you at risk—especially in the app-centric dating world of 2016.
Chatting about things like your job title, company you work for, college you went to, or neighborhood you live in are typical online dating small-talk topics, but they’re not so harmless, says Jason Hanson, CIA agent and author of.
“Never give specific details about your job or where you like to hang out because then some creeper will know where to find you.” It might seem boringly vague, but consider it a challenge to your conversational skills to find something else to chat about.