Online dating has made meeting and getting to know others so much easier than it was before the advent of digital dating sites. It’s much more common now to meet and become familiar with a life-partner online before you ever meet in person.
But with the ease of digital dating comes new issues that could impact your safety. There are a few things you should be aware of before you ever begin the digital dating process.
It’s not only personal safety that’s involved with online dating – new issues have become evident that could involve identity theft, harassment and other types of theft. Physical danger may also occur if you decide to meet.
One of the first things you must decide when you enter the digital dating world is which site you’re going to use to set up a profile. Some sites are very open and anyone can message you.
Instead, choose a site that requires both parties to communicate before the serious messaging begins. This doesn’t completely get rid of your chances of receiving unwanted or unpleasant messages, but it may limit the amount.
Although you’re not responsible for the actions of another person, such as lying on the dating sites, you should always assume responsibility for protecting yourself when you’re about to interact with a stranger.
Note whether or not the people you’re communicating with can find out where you live. Don’t join a dating site where your specific geographical location can be accessed. Safety experts also recommend that you use unique photos on your dating site profile.
Using the same photos that can be seen on sites like Facebook and Google increases your chances of someone finding your whereabouts. Personal details about your life should also be left out of your contact information.
Data such as your last name, social media account info and other types of contact information should never be added to your profile. This may allow others to steal your identity or locate where you live, work or socialize.
Another good piece of digital dating safety information is to always use the dating app’s messaging service – and be sure to create a Google Voice phone number specifically for your online dating activities.
And finally – get to know the person before sharing too many details about your life. Chatting on the app can be vastly different from meeting them in person. When you feel comfortable with meeting the person, choose a public place.
Be highly alert and aware as you’re getting to know the person and never put yourself in the position of having to depend on the other person to take you home after the date. Stick to protecting yourself first, even if you might feel rude or uncomfortable.