I value the usefulness and effectiveness of online dating apps. I am active on two such platforms and they have allowed me to meet many attractive ladies over the past few years. As much as I enjoy using dating apps, I am also what some folks might call a “privacy nut.” I do not like being tracked on my phone or computer. The idea that if someone were to gain access to my phone they would be able to scrutinize my dating history really bothers me. I have gone to the extreme of uninstalling my dating apps and installing them only when I intend on using them. Of course, this is not practical and has caused me to miss notifications and lose opportunities to hook up. Is there a way to use dating apps without having to install them? How about cloaking them from prying eyes? Thanks for your help! Privacy Prince.
Dear Privacy Prince,
We get it, privacy is important to all of us. This is especially true when it comes to something as private and personal as our dating habits.
Privacy and the Online Dating Industry
Fortunately, the online dating industry has taken the privacy and safeguarding of the personal information of their users to be of absolute importance. If you use a site or app that has a well-established reputation such as AdultFriendFinder, OkCupid, eHarmony, Tinder, etc., you can rest easy knowing that your privacy is protected.
It seems to us that your concern does not involve the efforts of the apps that you use to safeguard your privacy. Instead, it has to do with a series of “what if” scenarios. What if someone got a hold of your phone, what if someone is looking over your shoulder, etc.
Installing and uninstalling an app whenever you plan to use it, as you have discovered, is a tedious and inefficient way to achieve privacy protection.
There are third-party apps that allow you to add a lock screen to all or select apps on your phone. AppLock+ from Avira is an example of this but there are countless more.
Use Your Mobile Browser
Another method you might try is using your mobile browser to log into your dating platform. This way you do not need to install the app. If you configure your browser to delete your history and cookies when you close it, tracing your online dating activity becomes that much more difficult.
Keep in mind, however, that if you are using a service that does not have a browser version, such as Tinder, then this method would not work.
By having your phone protected with a primary lock screen, adding individual lock screens with unique passwords for your dating apps, and logging off the apps when not in use, you can achieve a strong level of security.
It provides you with multiple layers of protection without having to go through the hassle of uninstalling and installing the same apps repeatedly.