What Not to Reveal Online

Wednesday, September 19th, 2012

A baroque statue of a woman with a black box covering her breastsThe key to a good dating profile is to share with other people the key aspects of your life; for example your likes and dislikes, but it’s also important to consider your safety online when you are writing your online dating profile.

At Muddy Matches we vet every profile to make sure that our members do not reveal too much about themselves. However, many other sites do not provide this service, so it is important to make sure that you do not make the following common mistakes in your profile:

Revealing your contact details

If our customer service manager had a pound for every time someone tried to sneak their phone number into their profile, she would be enjoying cocktails in her own Caribbean villa by now. We understand that it’s tempting to put your details out there so that people can contact you without having to pay, but by giving your phone number to strangers you are putting yourself at risk.  The same thing goes for your email address, so the best option is to use the online dating site’s private messaging function and protect your own details until you are ready to meet up.

Naming your place of work

As work takes up a large amount of your waking hours it’s understandable that you would want to write about it on your online dating profile; however it’s a good idea not to reveal so much about your job that someone could easily track you down. For example, instead of saying “I work for JCB in Rocester”, you could say “I work for a construction equipment manufacturer” as it will let people know more about you, without giving away your precise workplace.

Mentioning your exact course

As with work, it’s tempting to reveal a lot about your education if you’re currently studying. Although it’s safe to reveal the university or college where you are studying, we advise against listing your specific course, as it would make it easy for someone to track you down.

Saying where you’re going to be

We encourage people to add their hobbies and interests to their profile as it enables other people to establish how much they have in common with you. However, it is important not to give away too many details about where you will be. For example people may say “I’m a member of the East Fife Young Farmers Club” or “I go running every Tuesday at 7pm in Sefton Park”, which gives enough information for people to find you without your permission. Please note that these examples are the type of things that we at Muddy Matches would not allow on people’s profiles.

Revealing information about your children

If you’re a parent, it’s very tempting to talk about your children on your profile or to post pictures of them, but it’s important to remember that online dating sites and friendship sites are public domains. Do not mention the particular school that your child attends or the clubs that they are a member of. It’s OK to mention that you’re proud that your son or daughter was awarded a scholarship or is a talented young football player, without mentioning any specific details.

For more information about protecting your details online, take a look at our safety advice page.