More and more people are meeting their significant other online these days. It seems it’s more common than meeting in a bar – that’s for sure! With that in mind, today I am sharing some tips on staying safe when online dating. Whether you are just talking online, or if you decide to meet in the real world, there are some things you should do to make sure you’re safe.
Staying safe when online dating
Online Dating Sites
- When you register for an online dating site, you’re usually asked to put a photo of yourself onto your profile. Be mindful that you cant be 100% certain the person you are talking to is using their actual photo.
- When setting up your online dating profile, make sure you keep it vague. Putting your town is fine, but don’t tell people where you live. Imagine if they knocked on your door…?
- If you want to meet people local to you, choose a local dating site – this Staffordshire dating site is a great example.
- Set up an email account just for your online dating or chatting. That way if it gets hacked at any point, none of your security information can be found there. This is one tip I was given for staying safe when online dating about 13 years ago – it was definitely a good one.
- There are plenty of free dating sites, but in my experience, the people using ones which cost money are a bit more trustworthy…!
- Never share personal details like passwords, emails, mother’s maiden name, bank details etc. Most of us think this is obvious. Imagine you’d been talking to someone for a few months. You thought you got on great and then your bank account was cleared out…? You’d mentioned your mother’s maiden name, the name of your first pet and your favourite colour in the past 2 months at one point or another. They’d hacked your email and changed your online banking login – clearing you out in the process…?
Chatting To Potential Dates
- If someone introduces themselves with a request for naughty photos, they probably aren’t looking for long term romance.
- Remember that if you send photos to someone, you have no control over what they do with it. Be sure you’d feel comfortable with any photo you send being shared all over the internet before you send it.
Meeting in person
- If you’re doing online dating and hoping to find someone local to you, a quick google of a term like dating sites in Staffordshire should find one local to you.
- Never meet someone in an isolated or private place. Bars, coffee shops and garden centres are all great ideas. Maybe even a museum if you want to squeeze in a bit of culture?
- Before you agree to meet someone in public, I’d recommend a quick FaceTime video, WhatsApp video or Skype chat – just so you can make sure they really are who they say they are. You don’t need to share your phone number to use those services. This is a great way of staying safe when online dating. Especially if you’ve set up an email account just for online dating. Register whichever video calling service you want to use, using that email address for extra protection.
- Tell someone where you’re going and when you’re likely to be back.
- Make sure you have a friend on standby to bail you out should you need it. I once went with my friend when she was meeting a guy she had chatted to online for ages. Yes, I felt like a spare wheel for most of the night, but they’ve been married for 8 years and have 3 kids now, so it was worth it.
I hope these tips for staying safe when online dating have been useful – have you got any more you’d like to share?
You can find more posts about online dating here.