Online Dating Safety Tips

Meeting new people is exciting, but you should always use caution when interacting with someone you do not know. Use your best judgment and protect from online dating, whether you’re exchanging early texts or meeting in person. While you cannot control the conduct of others, there are steps you can take to help yourself stay safe. Online dating has grown in popularity and become widely accepted around the world and online dating safety is important. Millions of people use it to find love and friendship, but there are risks involved, such as online scams and unwanted or threatening behavior. To have successful online dating safety experience, you must be aware of potential dangers and know how to stay away from them.

Online dating safety tips:

1. Use Unique Photos

Avoid using the same photo or photos on your dating profile as you use on your social media profiles. Someone may easily perform a reverse image search on Google, and if you use the same images on your dating profile as on Facebook and Instagram, you will be discovered on social media. From there, potential scammers could begin to piece together information about you. 

Also, avoid using photos that reveal where you live or work. This information can be utilized in strategies for social engineering, such as when a stranger says they saw you at the workplace and works nearby, despite the knowledge that this is fake and is done expressly to earn your trust.

2. Protect your personal information

In addition to using unique photos on your profile, make sure to keep personal information to a minimum. Never provide personal information to strangers, like your social security number, home or work address, or details about your daily routine. This contains your last name, contact information, date of birth, location of employment, where you attended school, social media handles, and so on. This information may make it easier for hackers to guess your password. They may also use the information to send you phishing emails. Instead, give your first name or a nickname. 

If you are a parent, minimize the information you provide about your children on your profile and during early contact. Avoid disclosing personal information about your children, such as their names, schools, ages, and genders.

3. Misspell your name or change it

People frequently use Google to look up who they’re chatting with online. This allows a stranger to easily find out who you are and where you live. As a result, I recommend changing the spelling of your name or adopting a new identity when online dating safety. So, if your name is Chloe, spell it with a “K” (Khloe). This makes it more difficult for someone to find out who you are. Wait until you feel safe sharing your true name.

4. Wait till you’re comfortable

When internet dating, While meeting potential partners in person is important, don’t feel pressured to meet someone unless you’re completely comfortable. If you wish to wait longer, don’t feel ashamed or pressured; the proper person will allow you the time you require to feel at ease.

Take your time getting to know the other person before committing to meet or speak. Do not be scared to ask questions to find any red flags or personal dealbreakers. A phone or video call can be an effective screening tool before a meeting.

5. Provide your transportation

On a similar topic, it is recommended to bring your transportation to the date, even if it is as simple as taking a cab, the metro, or an Uber. While it may appear courageous when your date offers to pick you up, you’ll appreciate the freedom to depart on your terms if things don’t work out. We want you to have control over how you travel to and from your date, so you may leave anytime you choose. If you’re driving yourself, make sure you have a backup plan in place, such as a ride-sharing app or a buddy who can pick you up.

6. Meet and stay in public

The first time you meet someone, choose a public location with plenty of other people nearby. Restaurants, bars, movie theaters, coffee shops, or parks are all perfect options. Meet for the first few times in a crowded, public area, never at your house, your date’s home, or any other private spot. If your date is pressuring you to go to an isolated area, end the date.

7. Stay on the dating app

When communicating with a possible date or someone you’ve just met, keep your messages within the dating app. Scammers often urge you to switch to encrypted chat systems like WhatsApp, where their activity can be less easily tracked. Staying within the dating app provides an additional degree of protection because some applications do not allow people to share links within messages, and most include reporting or blocking features. And if things don’t work out, you won’t have to worry about the other person knowing your phone number.

8. When in doubt, get out

Don’t be afraid to leave if you feel uncomfortable at any time throughout the date, or even before it. You are not forced to stay with someone if you feel uneasy or threatened. It’s fine to end the date early if you’re uncomfortable. It is encouraged. And if your senses tell you anything is wrong or you feel insecure, ask the bartender or server for help.

9. Tell a friend where you are going

Before meeting your online date in person, tell a buddy who you’re meeting, where you’re going, and when you expect to be home. You might even try providing them access to your location using iOS or an app like Find My Friends. Consider making a safe call, which is asking a buddy to contact you during the date to ensure that you are fine.

10. Stay sober

A lot of people enjoy grabbing a drink on their first date, but if you decide to go to a pub, make sure to stay sober. Dates are frequently linked with drinking alcohol. Try to remember your boundaries, and don’t feel pressured to drink simply because your date is drinking. Maintain awareness and be alert. Do not leave your drink alone, and keep the first few dates short. Many drugs that are placed into drinks to facilitate sexual assault lack any odor, color, or taste. Some people feel more secure carrying self-defense equipment, such as pepper spray or a powerful flashlight. Also, keep your phone, purse, wallet, and any other personal information with you at all times.

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