Dating online is how many people find each other in the modern world. The various dating services like eHarmony and Match.com that are used today help connect people on a daily basis. These services connect new people and give them a chance at love that they would otherwise never experience.
When dating online, it’s important to remember that there are dangers and you should be cautious about your presence and actions online. If you can follow five basic steps, you should be able to practice safe online dating.
Protect Your Information
Whether it’s financial or personal information, you should always keep it protected on the internet. It doesn’t matter what forum you are engaging in, your personal and financial information should never be public and you should do your best to keep them private at all times. Never input your social security number, credit card information, or any other banking information into one of these sites unless the actually company is requiring you to do so in a private manner.
It’s also important that you don’t give out personal information such as your address, phone number, or full name. Dating platforms and websites exist so that you can meet others around you without having to input your information or leave yourself vulnerable. By their nature, they should make these places where your information is kept safe and you are free to interact with others. Therefore, containing your private and financial information should always be of utmost importance.
Establish Privacy Settings
Before using the platform, make sure to go into your settings and ensure that you have all of the notification and privacy settings established the way you want. You will want your privacy settings set to the way you wish to interact with others, limiting how you’re seen by other users and how you interact with them. Be sure to make these the way you want so that you can feel comfortable using the web page or service.
Research the People You Are Going To Meet
While in regular circumstances, this may be a little overboard, researching someone online before you meet them is always a good idea. It can be unsafe and even dangerous to meet someone, even in public, if you don’t know who they are. Check their Facebook, LinkedIn, and a few other channels that they may use. In some cases, you will be able to tell how authentic you really think someone’s online presence is. It’s okay to find some quirks about people, and don’t be discouraged to go on your date just from one thing you read.
However, there can be some indications that will raise red flags. If there is very little and their pages are all new, there is a chance that they may not be who they say they are. Try to make sure that people have a real presence online and seem to be a legitimate person before agreeing to meet with them. It might be a good idea to talk with them on the phone or over Skype before meeting as well.
Let Someone Know You’re Going
One of the safest things you can do when meeting a stranger is inform someone close to you – a friend or family member – that you will be going on a date with someone you met online. Give them some details about where you are, how long you think you’ll be, and a means of communication. This way, if you feel unsafe, you have someone you can easily call to help you feel more safe and someone who will check in on you to make sure!
If you can follow these four simple rules to online dating, you should be able to greatly increase your safety! The stigma behind online dating has also diminished greatly, with many people finding love online! Dating also comes with risks, as you can see from this post, no relationship is without trials and learning. Don’t be discouraged, there are lots of people out there and meeting them online is an ideal way of matching your personality with a counterpart!