Online dating is the solution for many people who are looking for a romantic partner but can’t seem to find one on their own. There are literally dozens of dating websites and apps available, some catering to specific niches and interests. However, no matter which one you choose to use, there are always going to be some risks involved. After all, you are communicating with people whom you don’t even know. The only information you have on these people is what’s listed on their profile page. This may or may not be accurate information.
Therefore, you need to always take safety precautions whenever you are communicating online with a potential date and future romantic partner. To guide you on this journey, below are 10 safety online tips which will ensure that you stay safe in the online dating world.
1) Only Give Your First Name
You don’t want to give too much information about yourself to your date. Start off by giving them your first name only and the general metropolitan area where you live. Talk about your interests and things like that, but nothing revealing about who you are. Wait until you’ve gone on a few dates first. If everything seems good with this person, then you can give them a little more information.
2) Google Your Own Name
Google is a research tool that anyone can use. Sometimes all they need is your first name and city location to discover more personal information, such as your last name, employer, birth date, etc. You need to know what kind of information exists about you on the internet. That way, you can be prepared for what your date might already know about you. Meanwhile, you should take steps to try and remove as much of your personal information from the internet as you can.
3) Meet in Public Places
This should be obvious, but it bears repeating. You don’t want to meet strangers at their homes or in some private location. Otherwise, you could be putting your life in danger because you don’t know them that well. It is better to meet your dates in public places where there are other people around. This will allow you to feel safe as you get to know your date better.
4) Research Your Date Online
Google goes both ways. As easy as it is for your date to research you on Google, you can use the search engine to research your date too. Type in their first name and location into the Google search box and see what you find. If there is any kind of negative history or arrests on record, you should be able to find them.
5) Keep Your Employer Information Private
Do not tell your date where you work or who you work for. The last thing you’ll want to do is deal with drama from your date, especially if you two no longer see each other. They might feel tempted to call your employer and spread lies about you just to cause trouble. Therefore, talk about your profession in general terms without getting too specific about the name of the employer.
6) Watch Alcohol Consumption
It is natural to drink alcohol on a date. But you need to be careful because people are always looking to take advantage of someone else that’s had too many drinks. This is the classic formula of a regrettable one-night stand. You need to have a clear mind and proper judgment throughout the entire date so that you don’t make this mistake. Only drink non-alcoholic beverages on the date. If your date doesn’t like that, then they are obviously not good for you.
7) Keep it Casual on the First Date
Don’t be so quick to jump into bed with someone after the first date. This might seem old-fashioned, but you need to stay safe in the modern age of online dating. More importantly, you need to be sure that your date is serious about wanting a long-term relationship with you. If they are, then they should agree to wait before anything physical happens.
8) Don’t Link Social Media to Your Dating Profile
Facebook and other social media profiles can reveal lots of personal information about yourself. Don’t like your social media accounts to your dating profiles because then your matches might be able to see this information. Sign up directly on the dating platform without linking it to social media.
9) Block or Walk Away from Suspicious People
If any of your matches act suspicious or behave in a weird way, do not even give them another second of your time. Block them immediately on the dating platform so that they can never contact you again. If you’ve already met them and they’re acting strange, politely end things with as little drama as possible.
10) Video Chat
Before you meet someone in person, it is better to talk with them through video chat first. This is the absolute safest way to have a face-to-face conversation because you are not actually in the same room as them. In addition, you can verify that their profile picture matches how they really look.