Listen up ladies, a new freedom of information request has revealed some worrying trends related to dating app usage.
Good old Tinder - we've all had a go on the popular dating app, even if just having a nosey to see how many tiger profile pictures we can tally. Sadly, though, it seems for all the fun that can be had swiping left and right, there is also the potential for real risks to our safety.
A recent study has shown that crimes linked to Tinder and Grindr have increased seven-fold in just two years.
The figures, released to the Press Association under the Freedom of Information Act, have demonstrated a dramatic increase in the number of rapes, sexual assaults and murders that can be traced back to certain dating apps, such as Tinder and Grindr.
If you want specifics, there were more than 400 separate incidences, reported to 30 separate police forces, wherein the Tinder and grindr apps were actually mentioned in the official report.
With this in mind, we thought it was worth reminding you of the ways you can safeguard yourself when embarking on an online relationship.
- Firstly, use your intuition. If the person on the other end of the phone seems at all weird, uncomfortably pushy or asks for personal details that you're not happy giving out, then don't take it any further. You are your own best judge!
- Never give out unnecessary personal details. Yes, okay, you might need to swap telephone numbers if you get to the 'let's have a coffee date' stage, but why would you need to give them your home address or your bank details? The answer is, you really don't.
- If you are at all nervous about your face-to-face meeting, there are plenty of ways to ease into it safely. For example, set up a meeting during the day, in a crowded place, with a simple exuse to hand for why you might need to leave.
- Keep a code word among your girlfriends for if events take a bad turn and be sure to let them know where you are going, before you head off on your date!
- If you are a parent, make sure that you relay all these tips to your teenagers. You might not think it appropriate for them to be using these apps in the first place, but in the event that they might be curious on their own time, ensuring that they have a sensible grounding in what information is okay to share and what isn't will help them to stay safe while online.
While the fun certainly doesn't have to stop, just take a minute to make sure your dating practice is as safe as possible!
Image credit: Ged Dackys/Flickr