Can you believe that online dating has been around for over 37 years? It was 1986 when Matchmaker Electronic Pen-Pal Network launched, later superseded by Matchmaker.com after the World Wide Web took over BBS, the network was an online bulletin board system which spread across the United States. Who would have thought that online dating has been a part of our lives at the same time Whitney Houston and Fleetwood Mac were topping the charts?
While the online dating space has changed considerably since then one area that has been slower at developing and that's safety. The National Crime Agency found the proportion of female victims younger than 19 when they were sexually assaulted by someone met through a dating app had increased from 12% to 22% since 2016.
However, there are digital platforms and technologies out there aiming at creating safer online dating spaces. Below are the three ways dating online is becoming safer.
One of the biggest concerns from people who date online is the prospect of meeting for the first time in person. These fears are not at all unfounded, even meeting in a popular restaurant or bar, you could still be left trapped in a difficult situation. Walksafe is an app that allows users to nominate a ‘trusted circle’ of family and friends who can track their location when they are out. The app also features a crime analysis software, providing bespoke reports on crime within certain geo-locations, establishing patterns in behaviours and year-on-year comparisons.
This type of technology means that users feel less vulnerable and ‘alone’ when they are meeting someone for the first time. Eliminating one of the biggest fears when it comes to online dating.
With the online dating scene filled with fake profiles, unsolicited imagery and multiple apps for all types of dating areas. Bonkers aims to bring the casual and long-term element of dating under one roof, while holding the status as the UK’s safest dating app.
The Bonkers app houses a range of safety features including blocked screenshots, no unsolicited imagery and user ratings, giving users a premium experience when it comes to safety.
Alongside this the app also offers two sides, Bonk, for those looking for more casual fun and Bonker, aimed at people seeking long term commitment.
Since facial recognition was first introduced on mobile devices in 2018 it has become a fundamental part of online safety, helping to protect users phones, banking and social media. In more recent years, facial recognition has become the latest way to protect users from catfishing on dating apps.
Bonkers is among the dating apps which has embedded facial recognition technology to ensure that catfishing is eliminated from the online dating world.
According to Sugar Cookie, 43% of men and 20% of women have been catfished online by fake profiles. Enabling facial recognition during the creation of dating profiles means protects the safety of its users and creates a safer online dating experience.