4 Reasons to Use Criminal Data for Online Dating Safety

Criminal data continues to be an important tool for promoting community trust and safety in all types of industries, from visitor management to various online platforms. However, criminal data has been underutilized when considering safety for online dating.

As use of online dating services continues to increase, so do instances of predators misusing them. Situations where users feel unsafe can lead to users leaving your platform and negative press, both of which can impact your company’s reputation and revenue. 

More than ever, it is critical that online dating platforms implement trust and safety measures to protect their communities. 

Leverage criminal data to reduce online dating risk

By improving safety measures, platforms can gain customer loyalty, reduce churn, and elevate brand perception, all of which can attract new users and boost revenue. 

How can companies improve platform trust and safety? This could look like screening users during onboarding, giving users information about a person’s criminal behavior before a connection is made, and/or allowing users to use that information to make decisions about whom they want to connect with or meet in person.

It’s important to understand who uses online dating platforms, safety issues associated with this industry, and how to best use criminal data to add a layer of safety and protection to online dating platforms. 

Who uses online dating?

Use of online dating sites has been on the rise for years. Currently, 30% of US adults say they have used at least one online dating platform. In 2017, revenue reached $710 million in the US and was projected to reach $1.29 billion in 2022.  

Unfortunately, bad actors also use online dating platforms. “Romance” scams and violent crimes associated with online dating are also on the rise, according to statistics reported by several different sources over the past five years. Bad actors sign up for a dating platform then target unsuspecting users, whether to do them physical or monetary harm.

Online dating safety stats

Approximately 53% of all women do not feel safe using online dating platforms. Furthermore, 26% of men and 32% of women claimed to have feared for their safety when online dating, with 23% of men and 39% of women blocking someone completely or reporting him or her to the dating site or app. 

Romance fraud is another way predators target online dating participants, who lost $1.5 billion in 2021 because of these types of fraudulent behaviors. 

4 benefits of improving online dating safety

By utilizing criminal data, online dating platforms can proactively assess risk and prevent bad actors from signing up. Leveraging this information can protect the online dating community and help businesses make better preventative, proactive, and reactive trust and safety decisions. 

1. Assess risk and make informed safety decisions

With access to criminal and people-risk data, platforms can make proactive decisions such as who can sign up or what permissions users have. Below are types of data to consider: 

      • Arrest Records

      • Warrant Records

      • Sex Offender Registries

      • Security Watchlists

      • Court Records

      • Department of Corrections Records

    This data can empower platforms to make informed trust and safety decisions. For example, individuals with a specific type of record may not be allowed on the platform, or they may be allowed to match with other users but not send the first message.

    Alternatively, a platform could leave the decision-making up to its users. By giving users the option to view records, they can decide whether or not to connect with someone or meet in person.  

    2. Gain customer trust & loyalty 

    Transparency around trust and safety efforts will build customer trust and loyalty. Whatever measures are implemented, having customers that are confident in a platform’s investment in their safety is key to building brand loyalty. When your community feels safe using your platform, there is a high likelihood that they will keep using it.

    Having dedicated safety measures in place can prevent unwanted scenarios and reduce overall risk on your platform. However, it’s also important to recognize that not all risk can be avoided, and platforms should be prepared to react to negative situations as they arise.

    3. Resolve online dating safety issues quickly to reduce churn

    How should companies respond to situations where users don’t feel safe? In addition to proactive trust and safety practices, platforms should consider having reactive processes in place for scenarios that require them.

    Reducing churn is not something to be overlooked, as the online dating market is competitive. Not only are there many dating platform options to choose from, but many individuals also use multiple dating apps. Online dating platforms should consider how quickly people leave a platform after a negative experience, and how many unsafe encounters it takes for someone to stop using a platform. 

    Building out reactive trust and safety processes and working with users to resolve issues quickly and fairly can reduce churn. In the best case scenario, the user could come away from their experience with even more loyalty if they feel the situation was handled well.

    4. Elevate brand perception to accelerate growth

    Implementing trust and safety measures, building community trust and loyalty, and reducing churn all contribute to elevating your brand perception. Providing a safer place for people to meet others creates an online dating community that values your efforts to keep them safe.

    While adding an extra layer of safety might be a competitive differentiator now, it will become the standard for the future. Getting ahead will allow your brand to be an industry leader. As an added bonus, keeping negative experiences to a minimum decreases potential for bad publicity – a win-win for your online dating community and your platform.

    The Tessera difference for online dating

    At Tessera Data, our goal is to provide platforms with access to information that may keep communities safer. 

    We want to help support efforts to reduce risk for online dating platforms. To protect vulnerable populations, data needs to be used strategically and thoughtfully. 

    Tessera can help you make a difference in the safety of your online dating community as well as your brand’s reputation and revenue. Partner with us to:

        • Work with a leader in people data with decades of expertise
        • Gain access to one of the largest criminal databases available in the US
        • Instantly provide online dating users access to 98% of the US population’s criminal data

      Contact us so you can get started using criminal data for online dating safety today.

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