The online dating world gives you more options, but finding a date online also presents safety risks. While many members of online dating sites are honest and well-intentioned, others prey on women or don’t present themselves honestly. Internet dating precautions reduce the chances of putting yourself into a risky situation with someone you meet online.
Limited Personal Information
A semi-anonymous approach to the online dating world allows you to keep your personal details to yourself. The less others know about you, the less exposure to risk you have. If you share your full name, phone number, address, workplace and other details, anyone with access to the dating site could track you down. Set up a separate email account just for online dating. When choosing the email address, avoid using your full name or other information that gives away your identity. Most dating sites allow you to chat with other users without revealing your email address, but using a separate account gives you a little added security.
Online communication makes it slightly more difficult to figure out the intentions of the other person, but certain red flags should raise your suspicion level. Look for signs such as a person who controls the conversation, avoids direct questions, talks disrespectfully, insists on always calling you or whose information and stories don’t add up. Married men sometimes join online dating sites, so a man who is secretive or only available at certain times could have something to hide. Trust your instincts when it comes to suspicions about online dating interactions.
When Internet dating situations move from the computer to the real world, take your time to reach this point with a potential mate and keep in mind that he might not turn out to be what you expected. The first in-person meeting should take place in public. Meet your date at a coffee shop or local landmark rather than letting him pick you up at your house. Let others know where you’re going. Alcohol impairs your judgment, so it’s best to skip alcoholic beverages until you know your date well.
The quality of the online dating website affects your safety. In general, a site that requires payment offers more security features. Paying sites also require a credit card so it is more difficult for someone to sign up anonymously. Just because you pay for the service doesn’t mean you should forgo your own safety precautions, however. Always be on guard when it comes to sharing information and getting involved with someone online.
A realistic approach to online dating helps you stay in control and keep yourself safe. If you find yourself falling head over heels for someone you meet online, slow down and proceed with caution. Don’t allow potential dates to persuade you into doing more than you’re ready to do. If you’re feeling serious about who you’ve met online, introduce him to your friends and family to get their objective take on his character and intentions.