As a society, Internet romance has been defined and redefined. In fact, the question currently being asked is whether the Internet is more responsible for marriages or divorce? Well, if we learned anything from the recent Ashley Madison security breech, your internet dating is no longer a secret.
- Nothing on the Internet is ever secret – Have we not learned this by now? People continue to trust the internet or applications as a one-time use or disappearing acts only to be called out in public. Need some examples, see American politician and former U.S. representative Anthony Weiner (D-NY) and his rather punny situation he encountered a few years ago. It took some massive PR work to get himself out of that mess. Rather than being known for the good things he did as a congressman, he will be known as the first politician to be involved in a social media scandal.
- Nothing is ever safe – With recent security breaches involving brands like Target, Michaels, F. Chang’s, Kmart, and Sony we should be on high alert for potential security threats. This includes dating and social media type sites where personal information is available to any member or participant. Ashley Madison’s breach wasn’t stolen credit card information, but it has exposed many people, including politicians and others with extremely high risk to losing credibility. Data and personal information is constantly at risk and it is much safer to make the assumption that at one point or another it will be compromised. The only thing safe thing regarding the internet is to assume that at any point, whatever data you decide to place on the internet, can be consumed or stolen without your knowledge.
- Do the right thing and avoid internet dating – Since the invention of dating sites like Match.com, eHarmony.com, Zoosk, FarmersOnly.com among others, people can filter and narrow down their expectations in a future partner down to what size heels or what type of tie does someone wear. The downside in this: most appear better on paper than in real life. With apps like Tinder, Grouper, OkCupid, Plenty of Fish helping you decide with a single swipe whether you would date someone or not, the possibilities of ‘one night hookups’ increase and the long lasting relationships (around 5%) are becoming the rare experience among current internet daters. It’s time to revert back to the old ways of blind dates, friend introductions, and real romance according to some recent studies on successful relationships.
The internet is a cruel world out there. Use these three tidbits to keep your secret information top secret, safe and have a better experience online. After all, were those Ashley Madison sign ups really happy in life? Let’s remember, the grass is not always greener.