If you're a gay guy with any kind of smart-phone, odds are you've got some sort of hook-up app on it, or have had in the past. Some of us get tired of them and delete them.
There are so many of these apps now it's hard to keep up. Grindr, Scruff, Hornet, Manhunt, and so many more. Some of them are more popular than others - it seems to me that Grindr is the biggie here in NZ.
And last week the site got hacked.
I saw it and wondered "Should I be worried?" So did other mates.
If you're out and happy with that, then maybe it won't be such a big issue - maybe. It just depends on how much info you've got up and how far back they can hack stuff.
For some guys it could be embarrassing, or even worse. A lot of bi and married guys use these apps and aren't always out - same for some gay guys too - they like to use them to cruise, chat or hook-up, but don't want anyone else to know.
We've always got to remember that if you're online, no matter where we are, and no matter what we're using, it's not going to be a 100% safe or private.
Of course it feels like its safe, that's the trick. When we go online it feels like it's just us from safe little space looking out at the world, but in fact that's an illusion. If you're on Grindr or Gaydar or whatever, hundreds of thousands of others can be looking back at you.
So taking a bit of time and thinking about just what you put up on a profile or anywhere on the net really is a good idea. We think it's safe, we get the feeling it's private, but would you be happy if your boss saw it? Your mates? Your partner? There's nothing wrong with, for example, saying you love to get down and dirty in the great outdoors, or that you're a pig bottom, or posting a sexy shot of you in your sexiest undies, maybe you've got a private pic with your cock looking hot and hard, but just be aware you can't always guarantee what's going to happen with the info once it's out there.
It's the people who build the apps' job to make them secure - and most of them seem to be most of the time, but there are always some wankers out there who are going to try it on and see what they can do. It seems like a lot of it is just clever teens showing off how smart they are, but some hacking can really fuck up stuff for you, especially if they get to your financial details and stuff.
These hook-up apps are fun, and some guys have fallen in love and met their partner through them. They're not going away - we love them, we use them, and they're getting more and more popular every day it seems.
Just remember, the stuff you put up there can get out of your control.