7 Tips For Safe Online Dating
Online dating has made it convenient to meet potential partners from the comfort of your home. That's a great development considering how fast and busy modern life has become. But, just as the web makes it easy to do great stuff like shop, learn, etc. all from the computer, bad people may also find it easy to do their bad deeds with the increased access to people's lives. Activities like online dating need to be approached with a certain level of precaution. It's not about shunning the practice, but about doing it with a certain level of awareness. After all, everything in life has to be approached with precaution.
Here are 7 tips that will keep your online dating safe.
1. Choose a Safe Site
If you want to be safe from wolves, it might be a good idea, really great idea, to keep away from the woods. All your efforts at keeping yourself safe as you go about your online dating will be useless if you take the battle right to the home of the bad guys. Some sites are playgrounds for people waiting to prey on the unsuspecting. Always check for any reviews online that indicate the security levels of the site you might be thinking about joining.
2. Withhold Personal Information
This applies to your profile as much as it does to your conversations. For your profile, do not give any identifying details about yourself. For example, you can talk about your interests, what you studied in school, and what you do for a living. What you should avoid like the plague or worse is naming places like what school you attended, where you work, or your favourite ice cream joint. You might be outright playing with fire if you as much as give out your street name on your first date.
Even when you start communicating, do not open your classified files just yet. Wait until you have built a certain level of trust. Of course, this might be tricky since your are trying to get to know each other and that clearly involves an exchange of information. Yes, it does, but you don't have to jump in at once. Open up slowly as your trust directs you.
Watchful sharing of personal details should go right on until your first few dates. Trust definitely shoots up after meeting someone you've only been talking to electronically. There is already a little connection, or at least a certain level of familiarity and so when you meet, it may sometimes seem unnecessary to keep your guard up. But even at this point, you have to be careful what details your reveal.
3. Don't Rush to Facebook
There is no need to become friends with your date on Facebook. The social network can hold too much information about you, enough for someone determined to make use of it in less than righteous ways. All your photos, check-ins, videos, and friend's list can be valuable for some malicious psycho who knows what they are doing.
4. Keep an Open Eye for Red Flags
Even if you are sure the site you are on is reasonably safe, you still have to scrutinise individual potential partners as your communication progresses. It's possible to spot a bad guy even if they are not doing a sloppy job if you are careful enough. Watch for any pushy behaviour. If they seem to want to push you into giving your details prematurely, you have yourself a red flag. You can respond to your suspicions by doing a Google image search of their profile pic. If you find it to have been downloaded somewhere on the internet, cease communication with them.
5. Report Suspicious People
If you think you have a legitimate reason to believe someone is dangerous on a dating site, report the person. Simply staying away from them might not be the best thing to do for the collective member-base. Submitting shady profiles will allow moderators to investigate and keep everyone safe from harm.
6. Meet in Public Places
This has to be the one rule you should never break for obvious reasons. You are much safer if there are people around especially for the first couple of dates. Coffee shops and such public places are great for first dates. Never agree to go to a stranger's house and for your date, select a place where you won't need to be picked up someplace you can g on your own and meet up from there.
7. Inform Your Friends.
Inform your friends about your date. t them now who you are meeting and where. This is an important safety precaution that should not be overlooked. Your friends will now where to start should anything go wrong. For this reason, you might want to choose a meeting place that's easily accessible to them.