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The very simplest, a Google search will often turn up social media profiles, forum posts, and blog comments tied to a particular username.If you’re concerned about dating site matches finding your online presence, or people online finding your dating profile, just don’t reuse usernames or email addresses!You can’t see EXIF metadata without using special tools, but it may contain startling amounts of information about where the photo was taken, by whom, and when.
Aliases and usernames have become a big part of our personal online presence, and we often feel tied to them when we register for new sites and services.
This can be a great was to build an online identity, but it can also make it trivial to tie our activity on various services together.
A few years ago, image recognition on a large scale was restricted to law enforcement and corporate security. Free services like Tineye and Google Images will search billions of indexed images on the internet for identical or similar pictures.
This isn’t necessarily traditional hash or metadata specific – cropping or resizing an image is not a foolproof way to defeat this (as I show in the screenshot below, where Tineye and Google correctly identified my profile selfie which is substantially cropped on social media).
(The use of photo editing tools also becomes blatantly obvious, which can be a cause for some embarrassment.) Ensure you remove identifying metadata from photos before posting them onto your dating profile.
If I were forced to pick only one error which causes dating site members the most personal embarrassment over the long term, it’s forgetting this.
There are two sets of clues that can give away important personal information in your photos. Consider: is there a window in your photos, and are there identifiable buildings or landmarks outside of it?
Were your photos taken in an apartment building or dorm that can be easily identified in other people’s photos?
Somebody with malicious intent may use this to their advantage when trying to correlate your dating profile to other web content.
He or she will very likely check search engine caches for old pictures or bios that are easier to identify or contain embarrassing details.
You realized a few days later that it was too much of a privacy give-away, and made the wise choice to switch to a new photo. Search engines and archive sites are continually indexing as much content as they can from the internet.