Creating an online presence

Do you really want your real name to show up on a dating site or to be the 2nd link directly under your LinkedIn or Facebook showing?

The internet allows you to get a low level of anonymity.

For your privacy and also protection, I recommend a few things, the first two should be done before you sign up on a dating site.  If you’re already on one.  Consider deleting and creating a new account to isolate the dating site from the rest of your life.

  • Get a new picture or two – for use only on dating sites
    • Turn off the GPS on your camera.
    • Disable metatags from your photos or use a 3rd party program to remove them.
    • Have a friend snap a single photo far enough back to capture all of you, but ensure there is nothing in the background that would identify you, like mail, posters, a school uniform / jersey etc.
    • Use only these “clean” photos and make sure you never post them online anywhere else.  This is really important.  There are websites out there that can find all copies of photos posted on the internet, regardless of if linked to or not …
    • Don’t use one with a professional photographer’s logo on it.
  • Setup a new email account on a free site (hotmail, yahoo, gmail, etc)
    • Use a large well known email service, as they have clearly defined privacy policies and user help.
    • Do not use any user name or parts that you used ever.
    • Do not use any numbers that have meaning (your birth date, year, mom’s, dads, zipcode etc) … if you need a longer user name, hit some extra number randomly.
    • Do not use the same password you normally use.
  • Optional here, but useful … setup a voice account
    • Google: Voice and Skype are useful as they can be used to control whom and when you can receive calls from at not cost on google.
    • Google, Skype, Yahoo, AOL will all have voice ability that you can use from a tablet, smartphone or a computer.
    • I downloaded an application for both of them on my phone.
    • Setup an account on each and you can talk over the wireless in the coffee shop by either calling out with the application or giving out your “new” numbers out and receiving calls at no charge IF both you and your date have the same service (Google: Voice, Skype).
    • Note:  Google will not charge to connect you to the local exchange – IE if you call someone who just uses phone only, it’s free for google, but other services charge for this option.
    • Now that you have it setup, make sure in the options or settings the video is set to being disabled.  There are many tutorials to turn off video if you type into google.com “how to turn off video for” and put whatever service you are using after it.
  • Use this email to setup a profile on a dating website of your choice.
    • Make sure to google the dating websites you want to sign for to see what sort of things the news or reviews are saying about them.
    • I have never used eHarmony, but am lead to believe by several friends, that eHarmony is well ran and do a great online “chat” mode to help new people.
    • There are several large free ones:  plenty of fish, ok cupid, tinder being the biggest three.  There is a strategy to picking which one to use.
  • Setup filtering of some sort
    • Fact of life, females online get tons of attention.  Most dating sites will flood females with long lists of guys emailing.  They are “opt out” aka block someone if you do not want to deal with them.
    • A dating site like tinder is looks based, but does allow females to opt in to getting messages.  Which makes it less stressful.
    • Other sites offer filtering based on age, gender, looking for, or premium account status (when a user pays).
Be aware, there is a small chance people can still connect the dots - this will help take care of most the random people from being able to do so though!

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