9 Online Dating Safety Tips To Remember
Communication is an important part of everyday life, and the internet plays a crucial role in that. Online dating has become a norm, and recent Statista data suggests that the number of Americans using internet dating services will reach 53.3 million by 2024. The internet may offer an excellent platform to meet new people and forge wonderful relationships, yet it is not foolproof from undesirable characters. Here are some safety tips to consider if you are meeting someone online.
- Do your research
You can look up the person you are meeting on the internet to see whether they are real. And you should be careful when you can’t seem to find anything about them. Social media is a commonplace you can start. Although “Facebook stalking” potential dates have a negative vibe, you shouldn’t feel awful about conducting some social media research before meeting someone for the first time. It’s an excellent technique to recognize warning signs and guarantee you’re not dealing with a catfish.
- Choose public places
You cannot downplay finding an appropriate dating venue when meeting somebody you only know from the internet. Your safest bet is to choose public places such as the mall, restaurant, or location downtown. While there may be several places you’ve been longing to see, prioritize your safety. If possible, consider a group date, at least for the first time. Having a friend looking out for you can make your date more fun since you will feel safe and avoid awkward situations.
- Avoid disclosing any sensitive details
You can put yourself at risk by sending sensitive details such as your credit card information, bank account information, home address, or social security number to people who you have just met. It is advisable to delete and report any dating or online website that sends you an email requesting your information about your logins and password. The internet is washed with several stories about online dating scams, and there seems to be no end in sight yet. 2021 data suggests that consumers lost a staggering $547 million to romance scams alone. The figure represented an 80% increase from previous years’ figures. Also, avoid accepting money requests or giving out your personal information to a potential date. You may want to consider platforms like Chat Line Numbers, with safety features that allow making a call or interacting with others without sharing your actual numbers.
- Trust your instinct
The first impression is important when meeting somebody for the first time, either in person or online. Trust your instincts when somebody establishes contact, and you feel something is off about their profile or communication. If it doesn’t feel right online, there are odds that it could be much worse when you meet in person. It would be best to stick with your guts when you feel the person is not being honest with their answers or concealing something. Research suggests that your guts can be right 90% of the time. Even when there is any wrong, the internet is filled with many time wasters. Look out for yourself until the person has demonstrated that they are worthy of your attention.
- Don’t meet up until you are comfortable
There is no rule about when to meet your date in person. While some take longer to feel ready to meet, others prefer speaking only briefly online. The key is to meet up when you feel comfortable about the idea. Only you can determine whether you know them enough to plan a date. You are the only person in the best position to see if a potential date is ready and on the same page with you.
- Use temporary numbers
Using temporary numbers when signing up for online dating websites and apps can prevent you from leaving any digital footprints. Some websites will prompt you to enter your numbers when signing up. However, you cannot be so sure about how they will use these numbers. The website could display your number on your public profile without your knowledge in some instances. This could lead to receiving unsolicited messages and photos from people. The best way to avoid this is to use a temporary number.
- Avoid or limit your alcohol intake
Since you cannot be certain what may happen when you consume too much alcohol, you want to avoid or limit your intake. If possible, stick to just a cocktail. Drinking can be enjoyable, but only with people you can trust. While you can still have fun on your date, be aware of your surroundings. It can be useful to avoid taking drugs before or during a date since it can alter your perception or interact adversely with alcohol. Get assistance from a bartender or waiter when you feel uncomfortable or need help getting home.
- Make your transport arrangement
Ensure you won’t have to rely on somebody else when visiting a new location. It is essential to control your transportation to and from the date. This way, you can leave whenever you want and wouldn’t have to rely on the other person when things get uncomfortable. Avoid getting into a vehicle with somebody you barely know or trust, especially if it’s your first meeting. You can have a couple of ride-sharing apps on your phone as a backup if one stops working.
- Let somebody know where you are going
It is important to notify somebody you can trust
when you plan to meet somebody from an online or dating app. Likewise, consider granting them access to your location. Apps and services such as Find My Friends enable users to share their location with close relatives and immediately ask for help during an emergency. Informing a trusted relative about your whereabouts is a crucial safety precaution you cannot skip. Carry a charger or portable battery to keep your phone fully charged since the apps may require internet connectivity.
Whether meeting somebody online or in person, your safety should be a top priority. You want to consider the tips mentioned above to feel more secure when interacting with others online.