By now, it’s no secret that online dating can have its risks. After all, anybody can pretend to be anyone online, and meeting up with somebody who you don’t know can always have the potential to be risky. However, there’s no denying that online dating is one of the most popular ways to meet new people in this generation. It allows you to explore people who you may have never had the chance to meet otherwise, and with sites bringing out compatibility tools and personality tests to help you find the perfect match for you, it’s an ideal method of finding somebody who’ll be a good fit for you in a relationship. However, whether you are new to online dating or are an online dating pro, it’s always worth keeping these safety tips in mind.
Get to Know Someone First
When you’ve swiped right or reached out with a message and got a favorable response, don’t jump straight into exchanging numbers and arranging a date. Take things slowly and chat for a while in the app so that you can get to know them a little better and figure out whether or not you actually want to meet up with this person and find out more about them. Sometimes, talking to somebody online can help you get a feel for their vibe and make it easier for you to either spot red flags or end up liking them even more; something that’s easy to miss out on if you jump straight into arranging a meetup after it’s established that you both fancy one another.
Dig a Little Deeper
If you’ve been talking to somebody online for a while and want to take things a step further, there’s nothing wrong with trying to find out a little more about them. Sometimes, there might be things that they haven’t been telling you that could impact your decision on whether or not you want to meet. A good way to make sure that your date isn’t hiding any major information from you is to use the people search free service on Public Records Reviews; this site allows you to search somebody’s name, date of birth or address and find more information on things like offender records, citation records, and arrests. Search for people here.
Check Their Social Media
It’s a normal occurrence for people to add each other on social media sites like Facebook or follow each other on Instagram and Twitter after meeting on an online dating site. However, if you’ve decided to add somebody on social media, don’t just check out their latest profile picture. Scrolling down a little can really help you find out more about them as they may have been more comfortable sharing things on social media that they wouldn’t mention in a dating app. This can be a good way not only to make a decision on whether or not it’s safe to meet them, but it can also save you a lot of hassle if you discover things about them like racism or sexism that you wouldn’t want to have anything to do with.
Protect Your Information Online
While most of the people that you are likely to meet on online dating sites will be normal, there’s always the off chance that you could end up attracting somebody who wouldn’t think twice about doing things like turning up at your place of work or harassing your family members on social media if you don’t agree to a second date with them. So, be careful and selective of the people that you add on social media after meeting them on an online dating service and review your profiles so that you are aware of the information you are sharing. Ideally, you should lock your profiles down when using dating sites and make sure that any information that could potentially put you at risk, such as your place of employment, are set to private. If you’d rather not have people come across your profile on a dating site and then find you on social media, make sure that you don’t use any photos that you have uploaded to social profiles for your dating profile, as all it would take is a reverse image search.
Don’t Keep It On the DL
While you don’t have to make it public knowledge that you’ve met somebody online, it’s never a good idea to keep this information completely to yourself, particularly if you’re planning to meet somebody from a dating site for the first time. If you’re going on a first date, along with sticking to meeting in a public place, it’s a good idea to let a friend know where you’re going, who you’re with and where you expect to be. If you have an iPhone, it might be worth allowing your friend ‘Find My Friends’ access so that they can easily track your location and check that you’re where you’re supposed to be.
Online dating is increasingly popular and most of us know the risks, but how do you protect yourself from them? If you’re planning to date online, keep these tips in mind.