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Tinder is adding a panic button for when bad dates go horribly wrong

Dalvin Brown, USA TODAY

Meeting strangers off the internet is inherently dangerous, and Tinder reportedly wants to do something about it. 

The popular dating app is beefing up its user security options, offering a panic alarm for when casual meet-ups or dates take a turn for the worst.

Tinder, which is owned by Match Group, will start testing a panic button in the U.S. on Jan. 28. The offering is brought about through Match's investment in the personal safety app Noonlight, which was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

Match will extend the feature to its other dating apps like OkCupid, Match and Hinge this year. After the feature goes live, users will be able to add an icon to their profile to let potential suitors know that they have the tool at their disposal in the hope of deterring bad actors.

And before a date starts, users can input details about the other person and the outing. 

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"If an alarm is triggered, Noonlight's certified dispatchers will reach out to check on the user and alert emergency responders if needed, providing them with critical, contextual information from the Tinder user's Timeline," Match said in a statement. 

Earlier in January, Tinder was accused of selling users' private data like location stats to advertisers, though the dating app denied the claims. 

Tinder is also working on a verification system that would require users to prove they actually look like the photos they upload, which cuts down on fake profiles and catfishing. The company is also rolling out an AI-powered harassment detection prompt and date check-in features.  

"A safe and positive dating experience is crucial to our business," said Match's CEO Mandy Ginsberg in a statement. 

Match is far from the first tech company to take user safety seriously on the heels of high profile assaults, robberies and murders. 

Uber, Airbnb and Lyft are among the online platforms that have faced scrutiny in recent months after users reported various unsafe situations. The apps have each announced new safety tools to address the issues. 

Follow Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown. 

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Tinder to launch a panic button so users feel safer meeting strangers