Tips for Safe Online Dating
Whether you're new to the world of online dating or not, interacting with new people through dating websites is always exciting. This excitement could perhaps stem from the fact that you could potentially meet your perfect date in just a few clicks.
While dating sites are an easy and convenient way to find and meet potential partners, it's essential to be mindful of some safety precautions. It's in your best interest to always be cautious whenever you interact with someone new, whether offline or online.
Remember, Cupid doesn't conduct background checks on our users, and though we take steps to keep our members safe, your offline and online safety is ultimately your responsibility. Therefore, it should be your main priority. Meanwhile, here are some valuable safety tips that you can use when meeting people on Cupid.
When using dating websites, the first step you need to do is create your profile. Here are a few useful tips you can follow to protect your personal information and identity:
- Use unique photos for your profile
By this, we do not mean using pictures of someone else. Catfishing is wrong! We simply mean using photos of yourself that haven't been posted on your social media accounts. Nowadays, anyone can perform a quick reverse image search on Google, and if the photo is available on your Facebook or Instagram account, they can easily find you.
- Be anonymous
Avoid including any identifying information like your last name or work location in your profile. Also, don't add contact details like your email, phone number, or home address. It's always a good idea to avoid sharing too much personal information, whether on your profile or during initial communications.
- Protect your password
If you're accessing or creating your profile on a shared computer or in a public space, it will help to be cautious. This way, you can prevent others from viewing or recording your personal details or password.
Now that you know what you must do when creating your profile, here are some things you need to be mindful of when connecting with people online through Cupid:
- Communicate through Cupid
When you connect with someone new on Cupid, make sure you exchange texts on the platform initially. Try to learn more about the person you're talking to before deciding to connect with them outside of the Cupid platform. If someone asks to communicate through email, phone, or messaging apps right away, be extra cautious or ignore/block them.
- Best avoid suspicious profiles
The people you meet online might not always be genuine or have the best intentions in mind. It's up to you to take that extra step to keep yourself away from such people. If the person you are interested in or get matched with has just one profile picture or a blank bio, the chances are that profile is fake. Hence, be wary of such suspicious profiles and avoid them if possible.
- Play detective on potential dates
Even if you connect with someone who you think could be your potential date, it's a good idea to do some research about the person before agreeing to meet them. For instance, you could look up their name on social media or search online to check if you can find any record of your match. Learn more about your match first before deciding to meet off the site.
- Never share financial details or send money
Regardless of how compelling and convincing the reason might seem to you, never respond to any requests for financial assistance. Never wire money to anyone, even if the person claims to be in a difficult situation. Also, avoid sharing your financial details, and if you ever come across users that make such requests, consider reporting the matter to us.
If the person you connect with misbehaves or acts suspiciously, let us know. Here are some reasons for which you might want to consider reporting a user:
- Is a minor
- Requests financial assistance
- Threats, harassment, and offensive messages
- Tries to sell services or products
- Fraudulent profiles
Remember that the people you meet online aren't always who they claim to be. If you experience any of the following scammer behaviors, report immediately:
- Says they're from the same country but is currently traveling, working, or living abroad
- Avoid or gives vague answers to specific questions
- Offers job opportunities
- Starts selling products or services
- Refuses to video chat or meet in person
- Shares grandiose or inconsistent stories
- Requests your email, phone number, or home address right away
First dates are always an exciting part of every relationship. That said, it's just as important to be cautious when meeting offline as it is online. When deciding to meet your match in person, remember to keep the following safety tips in mind:
- Consider video chatting before your first date
Once you finally match with someone and feel like they could most likely be your potential date, schedule a video call with them before agreeing to meet in person. This is a great way to ensure that the person you're meeting is precisely who they say they are. If they keep giving excuses to avoid a video call, that could be a red flag for suspicious activity.
- Meet somewhere in public
When you decide to go on a first date with someone for the first time, avoid meeting in your apartment, home, or somewhere isolated. It would be ideal and comfortable for both of you to meet up in a bar, coffee shop, or restaurant with plenty of people around. If your date strongly suggests going somewhere isolated, end the date.
- Share the deets with your friends
Let at least one of your friends know about the person you're meeting and also the location of your date. If you happen to continue your date in a different location, text your friend and let them know. In doing so, you'll have a sense of security knowing someone else is aware of where to find you if something comes up.
- Use public transportation or drive yourself
It's important to be in control of your transportation when going on your first date. This way, you can leave any time you want and even avoid relying on your date if you begin to feel uncomfortable. It's wise to avoid getting into a car with someone you don't know well enough, especially if it's the first time you're meeting in person. Additionally, you can take your car or download a few ride-share apps for backup.
- Stay sober
Having a drink or two on your date is fine, but do know your limits. It's also best if you avoid taking drugs as it can impair your alertness and judgment. If your date is pressuring you into taking drugs or drinking more than what you're capable of, it'd be a good idea to leave the date.
- Trust your guts
You have to understand that it's okay to leave the date whenever you start feeling unsafe or uncomfortable. Moreover, you could even seek a bartender or waiter's help if you feel unsafe or if something is off. Also, avoid leaving your drinks unattended.
By following these safety tips and trusting your intuition, you're sure to have a safe and more favorable online dating experience on Cupid.