Online Dating Safety Tips You Must Know
Is online dating safe or not? When you are dating online through various different websites, please take into account these 9 online dating safety tips to ensure you are dating in the safest fashion as possible.
There is a pretty straightforward vetting process when it comes to online dating; never go on a date with someone that you only talked to online briefly. Building trust takes time and you need to feel you should meet with any stranger connected to the internet. If you do get asked out early, then be upfront and tell them you want to wait a little while.
Joining an online dating site means putting not just your heart out there, but also your personal and private information. It’s only right that you take precautions to keep yourself safe from scammers, creeps, and dates with ill-intentions. Here are our 9 tips to avoid scams and stay safe with online dating.
Take this online dating safety advice to heart, as you will enjoy a safer and more enjoyable dating experience.
Make a Burner Email for Online Dating
The first of the online dating safety tips we have for you is to keep your online dating profile separate from everything else you do online. Keeping things separate like this prevents a stranger from using the internet to stalk you. With a new ad unconnected username and email address you have a way out if something goes wrong.
The idea to create a separate email account for online dating sites comes from AVG Product Evangelist Tony Anscombe. As he reasons it, you’re able to just disappear and sever ties without leaving connections to a primary email account in the event something goes wrong.
Use Separate Photos For your Profile
The photos published to your profile are going to take center stage. Whether you agree or disagree, looks do play an important role in getting matches. People are going to scrutinize your photos and learn more about you, but make sure they don’t learn too much from the photos.
Make sure that any images on your profile don’t lead people back to social media accounts. Keep yourself safe by not using pictures that you’ve already posted online to sites like Facebook and Instagram. That is; unless you want strangers to be able to find you with the photos.
It’s also important to ensure these photos don’t show people where you live and where you work. Photos that include your house makes it all too easy for a stalker to find you. Be careful about the information contained in a picture.
Don’t Give Out Your Personal and Financial Information
You’d think this would be common sense at this point, one of the most obvious online dating safety tips, given that identity theft reached new heights in 2016, affecting over 15 million people. It remains a massive problem because of how simple it is to share and steal information online. Putting your personal information on the internet makes you a potential target for identity thieves.
An online dater should never divulge their sensitive information online. Your address or last name could be the final key that someone needs to crack your identity and wreak havoc in your name.
Another one of our online dating safety tips would be to never give out your address or your social security number, and always be wary about the people you interact with online.
Online Safety Dating Tips Include Asking Questions
Asking questions is the best way to move a fun and flirty conversation along, but it also flushes out inconsistencies, sketchy behavior, and outright lies. Which is great for staying safe and one of the online dating safety tips!
You need to ask your potential date plenty of personal questions as soon as you start talking to learn more about them and if they are compatible. We’re not advising that you ask them where they live or what their criminal record is. Show some subtlety. People don’t like it when others pry through things they want to keep private.
Some simple questions about their background, where they work, and their life goals offer you a better understanding of them. This fosters a sense of trust between the two of you.
Run Your Match Through Google
This is one of the most important online dating safety tips we have. This provides a safe dating verification. There’s no harm in doing a little research on the people that contact you online. You might not learn much about them (especially if they’ve listened to our advice too), but there are times when searching for their username through Google or performing a reverse image search on their profile picture can point you in the direction of their social media accounts or other accounts on online dating websites.
This helps you piece together their online identity and find dealbreakers. Perhaps you are taken to a profile on Facebook and learn that they already have a partner, or you find a lot of different dating profiles all of which have conflicting profiles. You might just learn that they prefer cats while you prefer dogs yourself. Either way, it’s always better to learn more about someone before agreeing to date them.
A Google search can show you a lot about someone, and this knowledge helps you to decide if you’re messaging the genuine article or not.
Never Send Someone Money
When we say never we mean never. You should never give someone you haven’t gotten to know your money. If you’ve never met them in person then how do you know they are the person they claim to be? They could be trying to con you. You should never send someone you meet on a dating site money. Never.
A lot of our online dating safety tips may not be something you would normally think about, but this one is obvious. If someone on a dating site ever asks you to give them money then this should raise a lot of red flags. A trustworthy person will use a dating website to get a date, only a scammer goes there for money.
You need to be skeptical of the people you meet online, especially when it comes to money. Scam artists will try and charm you with their story about how they’ve fallen on hard times but tell them no. More often than not it’s just a clever lie to get you emotionally invested and ready to pull out your wallet. Don’t hesitate to report a potential scammer to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center.
Meet the Person in a Public Place
The only way to know if you’re really compatible with someone is to meet up with them in person. It’s awful to spend weeks having online conversations just to realize that there’s no physical chemistry between you.
When you’re feeling comfortable it’s time to arrange a meeting in public. It doesn’t matter if you’re meeting to have lunch coffee together, the place should be safe and familiar to you. A public park is a good idea, but a bike trail isn’t.
If the date offers to drive you to the location, then politely decline until you know them better. Having transportation of your own gives you a lot of control in the event things go south. One of the worst things that can happen is that you can be relying on others for transportation.
Block and Report Suspicious Users
This is a very important online dating safety tip. Many dating websites allow for users to police the community themselves by blocking and reporting suspicious or malicious profiles. Block someone to prevent them from being able to send you messages, and report anyone that make you feel unsafe.
The security team at the dating site will step in once inappropriate behavior or content is reported to them. Users that violate the code of conduct – such as by posting threats and false information, posting inappropriate photos, or attempting scams – are penalized.
Dating sites value the satisfaction of their members. It’s the key to their success after all. So they have no issue with banning members that undermine their values of making genuine connections and having friendly and flirtatious conversations. Letting the site moderators know about this inappropriate behavior improves the online dating experience of everyone using the website
Learn more about what is and isn’t allowed on the site by reading through their safety policy. Different websites have different rules. The Integrity Team with Match.com don’t allow for nude photos for example, while websites designed around hook-ups such as BeNaughty allow users to share those kinds of photos.
Listen to Your Gut Instinct
Our last piece of advice is to listen to your gut instincts and trust them. If someone gives you a bad feeling then don’t go out with them. If you aren’t comfortable on a date then get out of it. You need to feel safe during the date. Someone that is the right match for you respects your concerns and puts your mind at ease. Anyone who doesn’t isn’t worth it.
If someone tries to pressure or manipulate you then this should be where the conversation ends. Swipe right and get on with your day. Life is too short to give those jerks another chance, and there’s no point in potentially risking your own personal safety like that.
One Of The Best Online Dating Safety Tips – Use Good Judgement
Online dating isn’t as scary as some make out. Follow these online dating precautions. Make sure you use safe online dating sites. While it might seem intimidating, particularly if you’re new to the scene, most online dating sites worth their salt are all about keeping their members safe. The first time I signed up to online dating I was worried that I’d be putting myself in front of the biggest jerks in the universe, but most guys I’ve met – whether online or offline – have been good and honest people who respect my boundaries.
I’ve found that I’m more comfortable with online dating since going out more and meeting people. A dating platform provides singles with a safe environment to put themselves in front of others. A lot of modern dating websites and apps take care of the vetting process for you, allowing you to search for a date without having to worry if they’re a fake or a criminal. We hope you make the most out of our safety tips to date online with confidence and common sense. Stay safe!