Nowadays, online dating has become the new norm, with millions of people signing up through various online dating platforms and apps. While many people are trying to find their match online, there’s always some risk involved when meeting up with someone new, especially if you met them online. To help you safely embark on your online dating journey, here are some safety tips you should keep in mind.
Do a Little Digging
Entering a relationship is an investment of your time and effort. In any type of investment, you need to do your research, and the same goes for online dating. Before setting up a meet, you should first thoroughly research your match first. When we say “thoroughly research,” it means to do a quick Google or Facebook search without being a stalker. Try to find pictures, posts, and even those that interest your match. You should also look at their circle of friends.
While Facebook seems like the most obvious place to search, you can also expand your efforts by searching other sites for more information about them.
Keep Your Contact Information Private
Take your safety a step further, get a free Google Voice phone number that you can use to display on your profile. By using the Google Voice app, you can check your calls, voicemails, and messages without giving out your actual number. That way, you won’t have to worry about being traced or pestered by some sketchy individuals. Remember to keep your personal information secure at all times, even when you’re trying out online dating.
Do a Virtual Meetup First
The best way to confirm that your online dating match is the real and actual person you see in their profile is by organising a virtual meetup through video chat. You can use FaceTime, Google Hangouts, Zoom, or even just Facebook for video calls. This could help reduce the risk of being “catfished” by someone claiming to be someone they’re not. This will also help build more rapport with each other before your actual meetup.
Don’t Be Afraid to Report Someone
Dating sites are bound to have some shady individuals posing as legit members of the site or platform. As a member of a respected dating site, you should find it easy to report anyone you may find shady or suspicious. If someone is harassing you or making you feel uncomfortable, don’t be afraid to report them. Most sites don’t tolerate behaviour that’s aggressive and bordering on illegal. Most dating sites even include the option to block an individual user if your interactions make you feel uneasy.
Tell Someone Where You’re Going and Who You’ll Be Meeting
Before you step out and meet the person you found online, it’s best to tell someone else about the person and where you’ll be planning to meet. This serves as your insurance in case something bad happens during your meetup. Find a trusted friend and family member and tell them where you’re going. You might even consider giving them access to your location via iOS or an app like Find My Friends.
Finally, don’t set a meet up somewhere private like your apartment or your match’s loft. It’s always recommended to meet up with someone in a public place where there are plenty of people around. It’s also wise to provide your own transportation instead of asking your date to pick you up or drop you off. Remember, protect your contact information, especially your address, at all times!
Online dating can turn out to be a nightmare just as much as it is fun and exciting. That’s why you need to heed these safety tips so you won’t get in a situation where your safety and well-being is threatened.
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