5 Important Tips for Online Dating Safety
Online dating is common, but it does require some extra precaution. Here are 5 of the best online dating safety tips to help you protect yourself.
Online dating is just as popular today as it was decades today. The technology behind it has changed, but its core principles remained the same. Users sign up on a dating website or app, set up a profile, and start mingling.
According to a 2017 survey, 30% of U.S. Internet users ages 18 to 29 years are active on dating sites. A whopping 66% of American singles used these services to find potential dates.
Dating websites and apps like Tinder, OkCupid, and Match.com have millions of users worldwide. Unfortunately, it’s hard to tell who these people are and what they’re really after.
Whether you’re using these services to find love, make friends, or have great sex, online dating safety should be your priority. After all, we’ve all heard horror stories about scam artists and other criminals looking for victims on the Internet.
The Dangers of Online Dating
The online dating landscape has evolved over the past years. Today, dating sites are using cutting-edge technology to screen their members, run compatibility tests, and suggest potential matches. As you soon as you sign up, they’ll know your exact location and IP address.
Despite the advancements in technology, the danger is still there. After all, it’s people who are using dating sites. Once you leave the platform, you’re on your own; anything can happen.
Internet dating safety shouldn’t be taken lightly. A few years ago, a man tricked a 74-year-old woman into sending him $210,000. Surprisingly, the two have never met; they only chatted for six months online.
Do a quick search for “online dating horror stories” or “the dangers of online dating,” and you’ll get thousands of results. Identity theft, rape, abductions, and even murder are all harsh realities for those using dating websites.
Even though most dating platforms advise users to stay safe, that’s pretty much all they can do. Since they are being pushed to protect user privacy, they can’t share members’ personal information.
To help you out, we’ve compiled a list of tips for online dating safety. Let’s get into it!
1. Take It Slowly
Think of online dating as an experience, not a race to meet someone. The more time you spend talking with a potential partner, the better you’ll get to know him.
If he or she is pressuring you to go out together, don’t do it. A person who really wants to know you will be willing to wait.
Let’s say you’re using Tinder. Since the app connects local singles, you could meet your potential date anytime. However, this doesn’t mean you should do it the next day.
Ask relevant questions about his job, life goals, hobbies, and other things you’re interested in. If he asks you to go out the same day or the next day, find an excuse not to do it. In the meantime, try to find out more about your date.
2. Research, Research, Research
When it comes to online dating safety, it pays off to do some research beforehand. Try to find out the real identity of the person behind the screen. Do a reverse image search using Tiny Eye or Google.
If your potential date has an uncommon name, look it up on Facebook. Or you can ask him directly about it.
As soon as you find out his name, do some research over the Internet. There are plenty of online tools that allow users to search criminal records and perform a complete background check within minutes. Click here to discover more.
A staggering 25% of rapists use dating sites to find their victims. One in 10 users is a sex offender. Luckily, you have the technology by your side, so use it to the fullest.
3. Request More Photos
Remember the old saying ‘A picture is worth a thousand words?’ This is particularly true when it comes to online dating.
Most people who use dating website lie about their age, physical appearance, or occupation. Women often post photos of their younger selves. Men try to look wealthier than they actually are.
It’s not uncommon to see users who post fake photos on their profiles. Some say they do it in order to protect their privacy. In fact, they’re married and want to hide their own identity – or they’re trying to fool their dates.
Request more photos from the person you’ve been taking with. Be tactful so you don’t look like a creep.
Watch out for warning signs, such as a guy who is always surrounded by women – or one who is always alone and has no photos of himself and his friends.
4. Always Say Less Than Necessary
When chatting on online dating sites, never reveal more than necessary. Talk less and listen more.
Your potential date doesn’t need to know that you live alone and what your routine looks like. Don’t share who you work for or where your kids go to school.
5. Look for Red Flags
Check out any dating site and you’ll find thousands of men saying they want a serious relationship. For many, a relationship equals sex or just a short affair. On top of that, there are plenty of guys who believe that women who use dating sites are interested in hookups.
A potential date who barely asks any questions about you probably wants just sex. One who is always complaining about money could be a scammer.
If your date is never available for a chat in the evening or on Sundays, they might already be married or have a relationship.
Keep Safety a Top Priority
Online dating safety is a serious concern. If something goes wrong, you could end up with a broken heart, injuries, or less money in your bank account.
Take the steps needed to stay safe on dating sites. Research your potential date and meet in public places. Block and report any users who behave inappropriately.
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Keep this in mind when dating online. Scammers have perfected their skills and know exactly what to say to make you fall into their trap.
Have you ever tried online dating? What was your experience like? Share it below!