There are dozens of things you do every day to keep your private property, well, private—and safe. You probably have a passcode on your phone, lock away items at the gym before hitting those weights or a class, or stash important documents in a safe deposit box.

When it comes to putting information online, privacy is just as important. Why? Any information that gets into the wrong hands can turn a movie like Enemy of the State into a real-life drama, and it may not wrap up as nicely as it does on the big screen.

Many websites and big corporations collect user data every single day. From basic info like full names, birthdays, and addresses to Social Security numbers and financial information. The amount of personal data that is collected can be extensive.

User data is extremely sensitive, especially when it comes to online dating. That’s why we take data privacy very seriously here at Seeking.com.

The National Cybersecurity Alliance has declared the week of January 22-28 Data Privacy Week. Read on to learn more about this, as well as how we protect user data at Seeking.com.

What is Data Privacy Week? 

According to the official website of the National Cybersecurity Alliance, Data Privacy Week is a global effort that aims to spread awareness about the importance of online privacy. Their goal is to show people that they have the power to control how their personal data is used, as well as stress to companies that data privacy needs to be a top priority.

Seeking and Data Security

As the world’s leading luxury lifestyle dating site, we may seem like we are all fun and Fendi, but we definitely don’t play around when it comes to protecting personal information.

One of our goals is to help our community members find someone with whom they can be their true selves. But we also take into account that online dating is often an avenue used by dishonest people to attempt to access unauthorized user data, and we have instilled safety measures accordingly.

Online daters often share sensitive information including gender, age, location, and images, which can be a gold mine for scammers and fraudsters. 

That’s why Seeking uses sophisticated technology to detect, deter, and block any attempts to gain unauthorized access to user data. We leverage artificial intelligence (AI) and machine-learning tools to screen out “bad actors,” or anyone using our site with less-than-stellar intentions.

“We use a human-in-the-loop model where our state-of-the-art AI and machine learning software scans uploaded images, video, and text before sending them for human review,” said Marc Hall, the Head of IT, Architecture, and Operations for Seeking. “This helps ensure the community is protected from bad actors, and that user profiles are properly vetted.”

In addition, Seeking also masks members’ emails and phone numbers on our internal management tools, and continuously performs audits to limit access to personal information, including who can access it. As one more layer of data privacy, our Seeking staff is also trained on ways to identify and prevent fraud on our platform.

How Seeking Stops Bad Actors

Just like you, we never settle – especially when it comes to keeping our members safe. We are constantly seeking out new ways to stop bad actors, both online and on your dates. Here are just a couple of services we provide to give you more peace of mind while in search of a connection.

Identity Verification

Identity Verification is a simple way to lower the risk of fake profiles, fraud, and identity manipulation. Our third-party partner uses a driver’s license or other approved form of ID to certify a member’s identity. Once it is confirmed, members receive a badge to add to their profile that lets other members know they are the 6’5” engineer they claim to be.

UrSafe App

There really is an app for everything, including keeping you safe on a date. Seeking has partnered with UrSafe, an innovative app that puts protection in the palm of your hand. UrSafe allows you to fake a call, has a safety panic button, and lets loved ones track your location if allowed. What’s more, all Seeking members can use UrSafe for free for 60 days. Whether you’re walking to your car, using a rideshare service, or you’re just not getting good vibes from your date, UrSafe can make you feel at ease.

How To Protect Your Data and Privacy When Dating 

We work hard to protect you and ensure that you feel empowered when using our site. That includes giving you some easy ways to protect your information while searching for someone to experience the best of life with.

Use a clever profile name

Your profile name is a chance to be fun and a little flirty too. Instead of something like JaneSmith1988, which divulges your first and last name and birth year, try a username that tells a little about you without giving away sensitive information, i.e., BrownEyedBeauty. Plus, profile names are cute!

Be Slick with Your Pics 

It’s not uncommon for a potential date to want to see images other than what is offered on your profile. If you’re comfortable sharing more, be smart! Check the background of your pics (including the ones on your profile) to make sure sensitive info isn’t visible, including your home address or location identifier, or even where you may work or go to school. Also, pics sent over text automatically come with a geo-tag, so the location in which the photo was taken is automatically shared with your sendee if they save the image. Mindblowing, right? Simply screenshot the photo and send that instead.

Don’t Share Your Address

This should go without saying, but we are going to say it anyway. Do not share your address on a first date. Meet in a public place for that first connection, or until you feel comfortable sharing such private information.

Chances are, you don’t need to use these tips. But as they say, it is better to be safe than sorry, right?

How to Protect Your Data Outside of Dating Sites

According to the National Cyber Security Alliance, there are surprisingly easy ways to protect yourself while online, whether you’re on Seeking or your favorite game app. 

Practice Smart Password Management 

It’s tempting to make every password the same — but don’t. Use a unique password for everything, the longer the better. Strong passwords are at least 12 characters and include a nice mix of numbers, letters, and symbols. Consider using a passphrase you may relate to like IL<3veResQDogs so it’s easy to remember. Or use a password manager app. No, that does not mean the notes section on your phone. Password manager apps store your precious passwords in an encrypted database and even come up with new ones when necessary. 

Look Before Your Click

Clickbait is real. From salacious headlines to tantalizing emails hiding malicious links, hackers and cybercriminals use all kinds of tricks (known as malvertising) to entice you to take the bait. Be wary of texts, emails, tweets, and social media messages that come from an unknown source, even if they claim you’ve won a million dollars. 

Use Secure Wi-Fi 

We all have a tendency to scroll through our smartphones while waiting on our Matcha Tea Latte, or maybe we like to take our laptops to a cozy cafe for a change of scenery on our remote workday. But be warned! Public wireless networks and hotspots are unsecured. So basically anyone can potentially see what you are doing, from the novel you’re working on to how much money is in your bank account. Our tip: Avoid logging into sensitive accounts like financial services and email, or try a virtual private network (VPN) for a more secure connection. 

These are just a few things you can start practicing right now to stay safe online. Find more here.

Online Date the Right Way

Just like when dating “in the real world,” it is vital to adhere to safety precautions when searching for a soulmate or potential partner online. When you date on Seeking, you can rest assured knowing that the site you’re on is doing everything in its power to protect you and your user data.

Seeking is proud to rally behind Data Security Week and share how we work hard every day to empower and protect our members. “Good enough” will never be good enough for us when it comes to protecting your data, and we hope you never settle for anything less than the best in everything you are a part of.

If you’d like to become part of the world’s leading luxury dating site, now is the time. Join Seeking today and discover the life you deserve, or log into your Seeking account now. For more safety tips, member stories, and advice, check out the rest of the Seeking blog.