How to stay Safe while Online Dating
Sunday, November 27th, 2016
Online dating is generally a safe way to meet people, but it is important to be aware that there are some unsavoury characters out there who take advantage of good people. So, we have compiled some advice to make your experience of online dating as safe as possible.
Choosing a safe website
When you are choosing a dating website, or app to join, ask your friends which sites they would recommend from experience and which ones they would avoid using again.
If you don’t know anyone who has used a dating website, or dating app, try Googling the names of any dating sites that you are interested in to see what people have said about them.
Once you have done a general search, look at your preferred websites and see what safety measures they have in place. For example, Muddy Matches has a secure website to protect your personal details and has a team of people who look at every single profile and photo that is sent in (even updates) to make sure that only genuine people can join the website.
Protecting your personal details
Never use your full name, phone number, email address, or social media hooks in your online dating profile. Anyone over the age of 18 can join dating website, so you are essentially giving away your personal details to thousands of people.
When you wish to message someone, make sure that you send messages via the dating website, rather than exchanging contact details straight away.
Protecting yourself from unsavoury characters
If you are ever unsure about whether someone is genuine, or not, make sure that you get in touch with the dating website to let them know about your suspicions.
You should be suspicious of any of the following:
- Being contacted by someone who is much more attractive than anyone who you have dated before.
- Anyone who insists on drawing you away from using the messaging service on the dating website.
- Anyone who asks you for money. If you are ever asked for money, so not send them anything and do report them to the website administrator immediately!
Selecting a safe first date plan
When you do go on a first date with someone, you should follow the following advice:
- Let someone know where you are going and when you are expecting to arrive and leave.
- Text your contact to tell them that you have arrived safely.
- Plan your transport to and from the venue and do not accept a lift in their car.
- Meet in a busy public place such as a pub, or a cafe.
- Never go back to their place, or invite them to your home on a first date, no matter how tempting it is.
It may sound overprotective to put so many safety measures in place, but it is better to be safe than sorry.