Tinder at your own risk

Social networking is a daily activity in nearly every college student’s life, but the more networks that pop up, the more you are at risk.
Just about every college student has or has had a Facebook, Twitter or some other social media account. The newest app taking over college campuses across the country is Tinder.
Tinder is a dating app that is compatible with almost every Apple device. Tinder is simple and straightforward when matching two people.
While I think the app is great if you are looking for love, users need to beware of the dangers they are exposing themselves to.
There are no profiles to fill out. All any prospective match will know about a person is his or her mutual Facebook friends, shared interests and information from the “About You” section on Facebook.
When a person’s picture pops up, students either like or dislike the photo—as shallow as it may be. If a photo is liked, Tinder will pair the two up so they can chat. This app is geared toward college students, so many of the people on here are the same age.
This network is simple, but that is also what makes it most dangerous. Tinder pairs people up who know nothing about each other except what they look like—if the given picture is accurate.
Tinder is a great way to meet nearby singles looking for love, but it is also a potential way to be tricked or “catfished.”
For those who do not know, catfished means to be fooled or deceived about someone’s identity or motives online.
The best and most recent example of someone being “catfished” is Notre Dame linebacker Manti Te’o.
He was allegedly led to believe that his girlfriend, whom he had known for some years, had been in car accidents, diagnosed with leukemia and had died.
This romantic tale was publicly played out during the recent college football season, until evidence came out that she never existed a few weeks ago.
The two had allegedly met on a social networking site and talked regularly over the phone and on social media, according to Te’o. He thought he had found his soulmate and the love of his life, according to some of his tweets.
When the news broke that it was all a hoax, he was publicly embarrassed and scrutinized because many people believed he was attempting to gain national attention.
Whether he was in on the hoax is still a mystery, but this is a perfect example of how someone could easily be tricked and deceived through social media. If someone of Te’o’s stature can get tricked, anyone can.
Tinder is great for setting up potential meetings of future soulmates, but beware. Everyone is not always who he or she claims to be.
There is even a new show on MTV called “Catfish” that focuses on the truths and lies of online dating and meeting people via the Internet.
Butler Information Technology has a few recommendations for students active on social networks.
Security settings exist for a reason. Once something is posted, it is always posted. Know your friends. If you are uncomfortable about something, do something about it, and take action when necessary.
IT also recommends that students keep their anti-virus software up to date. IT offers a free service.
Protect your personal information. Create strong passwords and use different passwords for every account.
Post about others how you would want others to post about you.
If used correctly, Tinder could be a great resource. But if students are not careful, they could be putting themselves in danger.