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Online Dating Safety
Online dating is a great way to meet like-minded people and maximise your chances of finding someone you click with. However, meeting new people always comes with danger because, well, you don’t know them. It doesn’t matter if you first met in a bar, or online, there are things you need to bear in mind before you’re sure you can trust them.
If you follow our basic safety advice and take the right precautionary measures, there’s nothing stopping you from having a great time and meeting all sorts of new people.
So let’s share some tips, shall we? First of all, we’ll talk about online dating safety tips for actual online dating. That’s to say - before you meet offline. Secondly, we will discuss what to do to stay safe when you meet someone in real life. These are principles you can apply to anyone you meet up with - not just people you first connected with online.
Safety Tips When Using a Dating Site
Safety tips for online dating includes staying safe in cyber space. Below you find the main points to bear in mind when interacting with others online.
- Don't use an obvious username. Be imaginative rather than using your real name or location.
- In your messages, don’t disclose your real name or address. Not even to your work address.
- Don’t feel obliged to respond to messages that are a bit odd or unusual.
- If you choose to connect on social media after chatting for a while (and it can be a bonus for you to check out their social media profile before meeting), be sure to know what security settings you use. I.e. ensure they can’t see posts that show your location, or too much about your personal life.
- Never ever give out your credit card information.
- If you want to avoid people seeking you out for money, don’t flash how much you’re earning if you’re a big earner.
All in all, common sense applies online - don’t share any information that would let someone easily locate you, or information that can be used to scam you.
Online Dating - Staying Safe When on a Date
When it comes to meeting up with someone you've been chatting with on an online dating site, you should try to stick to these rules — particularly on a first date.
- Meet in a public place where you’ll be surrounded by lots of people.
- Don't leave your drinks or possessions unattended while you pop to the loo, or make a call.
- Tell a friend where you're going and what time you're likely to be back.
- Check in with a friend at a pre-arranged time during your date or at least by the time you leave.
- Don’t let them walk you down a desolate street when leaving the bar/café/park.
- Make a judgement call. If your instinct tells you something isn't right, listen to it.
Don’t rush things - it takes time to get to know a person. Even if they’re ever so charming, you won’t know them until you’ve spent a lot of time with them in different situations. So take your time to explore them and enjoy falling in love rather than rushing head first into something. In short: to avoid disappointment, don’t trust someone until you know them.
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