Tinder's new security and safety features include a panic button, photo verification, and offensive messages alert

Tinder's new security and safety features include a panic button, photo verification, and offensive messages alert

Warning signs

Text: Janice Sim

Image: Tinder

So you met someone cute on a dating app. It's hard to ever tell what or who you're actually going to get on the first date. Heck, you might not know till the 10th — and that's still an assumption the person you met online is telling the whole truth. As it is fun, nifty, and a playing field rife with relationship potential, the downside to dating apps lies in the age-old saying of 'stranger danger'. And Tinder is finally onto that.

Starting from today, new security features will be implemented in one of the world's most popular dating apps. Given its questionable track record including a murder that occured from a first date matched by Tinder, we're starting to see changes that could bode a better, safer space for folks looking for love or some casual fun.

Tinder security

The new features include a panic button (in alliance with safety platform Noonlight), photo verfication checks, as well as an alert for offensive messages. Users have to first download the app Noonlight and enable location tracking, in order to put the Panic Button in action. With that in your phone, you can now find Tinder's new section, the Safety Center where you can log in your forecast of dates — including the day, time, and location. There's also an option to share this with your friends. Pressing and holding the panic button from the Noonlight app will alert and send dispatchers according to your real-time location.

Tinder security

Of course, that is the worse-case scenario that Tinder is trying to prevent. By using photo verfication checks, a couple of photographs in various required poses will have to be uploaded in order to receive a blue verification mark on your profile. Having the assurance that your next date isn't flying under a cover would be a good first start. It's a feature that Bumble already got to back in 2016, so we're just glad Tinder's onto it.

When it comes to being on your guard, there are tell-tale signs like offensive messages. You can report those that bother you, while the app also uses machine learning to warn you before you send out something that is potentially inappropriate for the recipient.

With all that in mind, these changes mean there's more awareness. And that's always a good thing. But crucial features like screening past criminal offenders — particularly sex offenders — are still lacking from all of this. The better thing to do for ourselves as users would still ultimately, be our own filter. Access the situation first in a public area and divulge personal and senstive information as sparingly as you deem fit. Instead of relying entirely on an app to keep you safe, trust your own instincts and make informed decisions — in spite of love at first sight, and all that jazz.

Click here to download Tinder.