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How to Protect Yourself When Online Dating

The Future Is Now

Twenty years ago if you were to tell someone that you were going on a date with someone whom you met by posting your profile ad on a bulletin board, they might look at you like you were crazy. However, these days millions of people are meeting people in a similar, yet evolved way through online dating. As we all know, the Internet is almost like a virtual bulletin board. As such, when one creates an online dating profile it has the potential to be seen by millions of strangers. Therefore, it is important that individuals are safe when formulating online dating profiles.

Create A User-Name, Stay Private

Certain precautions should be taken when writing these types of profiles. First and foremost it is important to be smart and be safe. One should own their online presence and empower themselves to control what is shared online. Under no circumstance should you ever include your full name. You should always use an alias or username since this helps keep your anonymity. In addition, you should make sure that your security settings are as private as possible. Make sure that you do not include your phone number, address, or e-mail address, as this type of information in the hands of the wrong stranger could be very harmful.

Check The Photo

It is important to remember that not everyone online is who they say they are. Start by checking out the profile picture. It is not uncommon for people to snatch photos of models, celebrities or just other regular people and post them as if they were their own. These days, many online dating sites encourage multiple photos, which not only allows one to get a better idea of what a person looks like but also helps legitimize that the person is real. That said, a good idea is to try a reverse image search through Google images to see if the photos are posted elsewhere on the net.

Keep Your Guard Up

Once you have verified the photo and are exploring the possibility of going out on date, people will usually start to chat online. With chatting through an instant messenger however, it is easy for one to hide behind their computer. Moving to video may help verify that he/she is who their profile says that they are. If the individual refuses to chat with a webcam then ask them to meet up in person in a public and safe place. If they still refuse, then it is likely that the individual is a fraud. With online dating you should not spend too long talking to someone who is not willing to meet up for a date, as this would ultimately just be a waste of your time.

Be Safe

While online dating is definitely a method of dating that is quickly becoming commonplace among singles, those looking to use it should make sure that they are smart and safe with the information that they provide about themselves online. Also, when searching for a date, it’s important to vet as many channels as possible before agreeing to anything further. There’s no shame in protecting yourself, and no one should be embarrassed, as all the precautions that are taken will only ensure a better, less-stressful first date.