Online Dating Safety: Tips to Stay Safe Online and In Real Life
  • Post last modified:October 5, 2020
  • Post category:safety tips

With the convenience of the digital age, it’s incredibly easy to connect with people all over the world, especially people who you may not have ever met in real life. It can be a great place to connect with others and foster new relationships, even romantic ones. Of course, it goes without saying that it can be dangerous. Online dating safety isn’t something that should be taken lightly because unfortunately risky situations can and do arise.

However, these online dating safety tips can help you be proactive and stay safe.

1. Fact check their social media. 

Commonly known as, “catfishing”, people aren’t always who they say they are online. That’s why you need to be careful of strangers who claim to look like or be a certain way, when in reality they may not be. To prevent this from happening, check out their social media profiles. Chances are if they’re online talking to you, they probably have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or other type of profile that can prove who they actually are.

Once you have access to their social media, do a bit of reverse searching on their profile pictures or any other pictures they send you. Unfortunately, it’s very easy for someone to steal someone else’s photos online and use it as their own. Other red flags on their social media profiles include:

  • lack of engagement or interaction with others
  • lack of photos or any sort of photos
  • very few friends or followers

Additionally, while there are some users who have inactive or new profiles, if they’re actively engaged online on dating platforms, it’s a bit strange if they aren’t in other places.

2. Ask for proof. 

Another great way to prevent yourself from being catfished is by asking for a verification photo- this is typically a selfie of them holding up a written note that includes their name, the current date, and time. This way photos moving forward are more legitimate.

Moreover, video chat services such as, FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger, and WhatsApp, can also provide you the truth about a user’s identity and are a great way to connect in a more personable manner.

Just be weary of users who refuse to provide any sort of verifiable evidence.

3. Be careful of scams. 

A great online dating safety tip is to be careful of scams. Unfortunately, this happens to many people who believe a person they’ve been talking to needs money for travel, food, family, etc. However, often more than not, once the money is received, communication may cease to exist or worse the said catfish may continue to harass users until they get more money.

Also, be careful about clicking links. If a person you’ve been talking to online sends you a link, whether by phone, email, or on social media it can actually be a phishing link used to steal your information or hack an account. So, use your best judgment when clicking or tapping on links sent to you by people you don’t know.

Finally, never give any of your personal information out to anyone. Sensitive information that is leaked such as your social security number, home/work address, credit card number, or bank statements can cause identity theft, robbery, or even cases of stalking and harassment. Remember, anything can be easily captured or screenshotted online and sent to other people, so never under any circumstances should you share personal information because in a matter of seconds thousands of people could have access to it online.

4. Have a meetup plan. 

Even if you feel you know a person online, there’s still a chance something dangerous could happen in real life. Therefore, it’s important to have some type of plan before you go out.

First and foremost, meet in a well lit, populated area such as, a coffee shop, restaurant, or a bookstore. Meeting in familiar or local areas is a great idea too because this way if you feel unsafe or uncomfortable you’ll know where to go.

Additionally, let your friends and family know who you plan to meet, where, and at what time. This way everyone knows where you are in case something goes wrong.

Finally, download a safety app for your smartphone. The reality is if you’re by yourself, especially with someone you don’t know in real life, anything can happen. Some great safety apps to download are: Watch Over Me, bSafe, Circle of 6, and SafeTrek. These apps can notify authorities or friends in the event of an emergency and even track you to make sure you arrive home safely.

Protect yourself each and every time if you plan to date digitally, make sure you keep these online dating safety tips in mind.

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