Online dating services have teamed up some incredible matches over the years, but it is very important to remember that online safety is the top priority. Just like in the real world, online dating scenes have their fair share of scammers, predators and generally unsavory characters. This article is intended to teach online daters tips for staying safe in today’s technological dating society.
1. Reputable Online Dating Sites Only: Be sure that you are signing up with a reputable online dating service. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of online dating services out there, and not all are to be trusted. Check with the BBB-Online (Better Business Bureau), read through some reliable, personal reviews and make sure you are not getting ripped off.
2. Beware False Identities: First and foremost, you can’t believe everything that you see or hear. The biggest problem with online dating is that there are no guarantees of who you are really talking to. Pictures are not always true, and neither are the profiles. The person may or may not actually be the gender they specified.
3. Don’t be too Trusting: Just because someone tells you they are a gentlemen, or a religious person, etc., does not mean they are trustworthy. Never let your guard down. One should never assume a stranger to be a safe person. This is particularly important when meeting someone in person.
4. Be Careful About Revealing Photos: If you don’t know someone, it is not a good idea to show them revealing pictures of yourself. If the person has not proved at this point that they are who they say they are, via live webcam for example, this kind of action often results in regret. Definitely keep this in mind when it comes to dating online safety.
5. Arrange Safe Meetings: If you feel it is time to meet someone you’ve met at an online dating service in person, never allow them to pick you up at your place of residence. The person should not know your address until you have met them and gained a distinct level of trust. Instead, arrange to meet them somewhere in public. Choose a well populated area, such as a diner, café, museum, etc. Secluded areas, such as parks, are not ideal for meeting an online date for the first time. Another option would be to arrange a double-date, where you have friends along for the ride.
6. Trust Your Instincts: If your instincts are telling you that something is not right, listen to them. Remember you are talking to a stranger who you’ve never met before. If you wish to continue speaking with them, that is your decision, but do not agree to meet a person you do not feel right about. This is essential for finding safe dating sites and date safety.
7. No Personal Information: Do not give out any detailed personal information about yourself. This includes your real, full name, home address, home phone number and place of employment. This last part should go without saying, but obviously no social security numbers, credit cards, bank accounts, etc.
8. Cell Phones Only: Since we just went over the “no home phone numbers” rule, if you wish to speak on the telephone with someone you’ve met at an online dating site, instead give out a cell phone number. These are much more difficult to track back to your personal information.
9. Tell A Friend: A close friend or relative should be aware of what you are doing online, especially if you divulge more information than is recommended (see Tip #6), and most especially if you decide to meet someone in person. In this case, you want to give as much information as possible – when and where you’re going, who you are going with and any other details you can offer.
10. Never Offer Money: Online dating scammers are running rampant on the Internet, with no other purpose than to scheme people out of their money. If someone offers you a long, sad story about their hardships and implies in any way that they just need a little money (or a lot), stop correspondence immediately.
Online dating does not have to be the stereotypical faux pas that it is often made out to be. By following these simple tips for staying safe, online dating can be a fun and fulfilling experience. You just might meet the man or woman of your dreams! Or, you might come across some deranged lunatic and be extremely glad you followed these online dating tips for staying safe.