The Scoop: Online dating poses some risks to singles trying to protect their personal information. With the help of organizations like Avast, they can feel safe and secure online. Avast creates software to protect internet users and preserve their digital identity and freedom.

It’s no secret that widespread internet access has changed nearly every facet of life. From banking to romance, much of day-to-day existence takes place online. The internet has made many tasks more convenient and meeting new people far easier. 

Still, these changes and improvements come with drawbacks. While internet access has become increasingly essential, online scams and fraud are more common. Scammers take advantage of the staggering amount of personal and financial information people keep online and use it to their advantage. They continue to find new and complicated ways to obtain sensitive information covertly.

Internet scams pose a unique threat to online daters. Using dating platforms has become common for singles. Even singles who meet their partners in person often conduct much of their relationships online by texting, video chatting, and using social media platforms. At the same time, dating and romance scams have skyrocketed in the last few years. Daters may know the dangers of meeting new partners in person, but the risks of dating online are harder to recognize. Yet online scams and fraud can happen to anyone.

Thankfully, Avast is busy doing the important work of protecting online daters from fraud and scams online. The cybersecurity company creates antivirus and protection software to ensure that users feel safe and confident on the internet. Avast is well aware of the dangers present online. But it doesn’t believe that should scare anyone away from using the internet. Instead, Avast wants to empower users to feel confident online, knowing its software has their back.

“At Avast, we believe that everyone has the right to use the internet with confidence that their data is safe, private, and under their control,” Avast senior writer Emma McGowan told our team. “So while we may not be able to fully trust the security of the internet, we should be able to trust digital tools that can help protect ourselves and our information online.”

Staying Safe Against Sextortion

Scams can happen to anyone, but that doesn’t stop victims from blaming themselves and feeling shame. Nowhere is that more true than in cases of sextortion. “Today’s most prolific scams not only include romance scams, commonly referred to as ’catfish’ scams, but also sextortion scams that can exploit our most intimate content,” Emma said. In these scams, criminals attempt to use someone’s intimate photos, videos, or even text messages against them. They may demand money or other assets to withhold from posting the explicit content online.

While victims of sextortion are often embarrassed by their situation, they have no reason to be ashamed. It can happen to anyone. “Avast recently conducted a survey that found roughly a third of Americans have admitted to sharing nude photos, and the majority save their intimate photos on their personal devices,” Emma told us. “While the only absolute guarantee against the misuse of personal images is to not send them electronically in the first place, Avast believes that protecting digital freedom is critical to maintaining a safe and private online experience and that digital citizens should have access to tools and education to take control of their online identities.”

The Avast logo
Singles turn to Avast for protection online.

If a user wants to have explicit photos on their device or share them with a trusted partner, the team at Avast believes that is their decision to make. Users shouldn’t have to change their private behavior for fear of exploitation and humiliation. Avast is not in the business of telling users to change their behavior. Instead, its team helps users stay safe while making their own choices.

“Avast offers several digital tools to help adults exchange and store intimate images responsibly, including the free Photo Vault, which allows users to store password-protected photos safely inside the Avast One app,” Emma told us. “These photos are saved to an encrypted folder and can only be accessed via PIN, Touch ID, or Face ID.” 

With Avast’s technology, users can keep their sex lives truly private.

Scams to Avoid

As a cybersecurity organization, the Avast team is familiar with all the current scam trends. They know exactly what internet users and online daters need to remember when trying to protect themselves online. Using software like Avast is an excellent line of defense against scammers. But remaining vigilant and trusting your gut is still necessary to keep yourself safe from the pain and disappointment of being scammed online. 

Scammers can be creative, which makes it hard to know when you’re dealing with a scam or something innocuous. Still, there are some telltale signs Emma says online daters should look out for that signal you’re dealing with a scammer 

Photo of a woman on phone
Getting scammed online is common, but staying vigilant can help you protect yourself.

“Romance scammers are experts at developing connections with their victims and creating an urgent situation that requires the victim to send money or goods,” Emma said. “Your best bet for avoiding becoming a victim of romance scams, as well as all other scams, is to never give money to someone you only know online. It’s much better to risk being rude than it is to risk getting victimized.”

Looking at a potential partner through rose-colored glasses — whether it’s online or in person — is easy to do. As you begin to fall for them, you may find yourself applying the trust you would have for a long-term partner, even after only knowing them for a short time. If they ask you for money for a supposed emergency, you may want to help them. But giving money to a person you met online is never a good idea. It’s just too risky.

Feel Confident Online With Avast

Dating can be intimidating. Putting yourself out there with new people requires a lot of bravery. If you are constantly worried about getting scammed by your matches online, you’ll have difficulty being fully confident to explore a new connection with a potential partner. When you’re guarded, genuinely falling for someone is almost impossible. 

The Avast team is committed to making online dating a safe experience for singles. There will always be some safety risks online, but with help from Avast, singles can feel secure that they are largely protected from online threats.

Avast focuses on the potential threats to online safety, so singles can focus on getting to know their matches online. The advanced software protects personal information from cybercriminals and empowers singles to share their information on their own terms. You can rest assured that no one can get your information without your permission. 

Photo of a woman on laptop
When you feel safe online, you can date with confidence.

“Avast’s digital trust services help protect your personal information in a way that nobody, not even us, can ever see or use without your consent,” Emma said. “By providing the tools to help people realize their digital freedom, we’re empowering them to make their own decisions about what they share online and who they share it with.”

Avast is working hard to ensure that you have safe online options – other than going off the grid. The company maintains that users should be able to use technology as much or as little as they want and stay safe in the process. 

“Since our founding over 30 years ago, we’ve been laser-focused on shaping a better digital world and helping to protect digital freedom for everyone,” Emma told us. “We look forward to continuing to innovate our offerings to help transform the cyber safety industry, protect digital identities, and advance digital freedom.”