Online dating is increasingly becoming popular in the present world. The popularity can be attributed to development in the technology world, ensuring that people can connect with others from whatever part of the globe with a finger click. However, the online space has its pitfalls, and for that reason, anyone getting in there to find love ought to do so with caution.
Currently, there are hundreds of dating apps to choose from, and you’ll need to conduct some extensive research to identify the best. Your safety is paramount, and your choice of dating app must put this into consideration.
Below are some helpful tips to ensure your safety when dating online:
Do your research
Before meeting your date, you should know the drill: perform a quick Google search. That doesn’t mean you should become a stalker; it just means you should make sure you know who the individual is before meeting with them. If possible, look for photographs of the individual and see what other information you can uncover on them outside of Facebook or on their social media pages.
Use a nickname instead of your real name
Limit the amount of personal information you give with someone you meet online until you’ve had the opportunity to meet them in person. This means you shouldn’t give out your full name, email or home addresses, phone numbers, or personal information like where you work or if you have children unless you’ve seen them many times in person and are certain they are who they say they are and are a nice person (as far as you can tell). Before you disclose any information, you should be fully satisfied with the person with whom you’re sharing it.
Avoid online dating sites and apps that allow anybody to send you a message
Unfortunately, people are already bombarded with a barrage of arrogant and condescending messages. Although you won’t be able to entirely prevent this, if you choose an app that requires both parties to show interest before communicating, you’ll likely receive fewer messages that make you feel unsafe or uncomfortable.
Avoid filling up your profile with a lot of personal information
Include nothing about yourself, such as your last name, contact information, or social network profiles. Check your other social media accounts while you’re monitoring your online dating profile. Do they have a lot of information on you that would make it simple for someone to steal your identity or find you down in real life? Reconsider what you’re sharing—even if your privacy settings are strict, someone on your friend list could share information from your profile with a stranger.
Use distinctive photos for online dating profile
With Google, doing a reverse image search is really simple. It will be simpler for someone to locate you on social media if your dating profile includes a photo that also appears on your Instagram or Facebook account.
Take time before sharing personal information
Never send out sensitive information to someone you haven’t seen in person, such as your social security number, credit card information, bank account information, or job or home address. Dating apps and websites would never send you an email requesting your username and password information, so if you receive one, delete it and consider lodging a complaint.
Suspicious users should be blocked and reported
If you believe another user’s profile is suspicious or if they have acted irresponsibly towards you, you can block and report them. Before or after you’ve matched, you may usually do this anonymously. It is always possible for someone to misrepresent themselves in any intimate contact. Trust your intuition regarding whether or not someone is being genuine in their representation of themselves.
Create a Google Voice phone number
You may wish to speak with someone over the phone before seeing them in person at some time. Consider setting up a Google phone number and forwarding it to your phone instead of giving out your real phone number to strangers. It’s simple: after you’ve logged in to Google Voice, you can search for accessible numbers by area code. The instructions will guide you through the rest of the setup once you’ve chosen a number.
Before you meet your online date, save and preserve your app chat
Many dating apps have a ‘unmatch’ or ‘block’ option that deletes all evidence of contact with the other person — so backing up your conversation or taking a screenshot of it and storing it somewhere other than the app may help you identify them later if you want to file a complaint or report a bad experience.
You are not responsible for another person’s predatory conduct, but you should feel confident in your ability to defend yourself and avoid circumstances that make you feel unsafe or uneasy. The above tips should help you to have a healthy, safe, and comfortable experience with your new-found online partner.