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12 Online Dating Safety Tips You Should Know

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12 Online Dating Safety Tips You Should Know

The online dating niche is ripe with opportunities, but it’s not without its risks too. While millions of people have found their matches via online dating sites in recent years, such sites are also frequented by scammers and other “less than honest” individuals.

Still, it is a pity to just swear off online dating sites and all the opportunities they provide. So, the much wiser choice is to simply make sure that you’re staying safe while using such sites. To that end, here are 12 online dating safety tips you should know.

Comprehensive Online Dating Safety Tips for New and Experienced Daters

1. Don’t go off-platform until you’re sure you can trust the person you’re chatting with

Online dating apps and websites are typically designed to cover all your dating needs, at least at first – chatting, video calls, bios, photos, and so on. So, if someone asks you to go chat with them elsewhere and you haven’t met them in person yet, that’s usually a huge red flag that they are trying to hide something.

2. Be extra diligent when looking for information on the person you’re chatting with

Obviously, you’d want to do your research on the person you’re chatting with before you see them for the first time. Ideally, they will have not only numerous photos and an extensive bio but links to other social media sites too. If there are no such links and if there are only a few or just one photo – the risk that they are a scammer increases. In such cases, it’s usually better to ignore and block that person, especially if you’ve asked them for extra info and links and they have refused.

3. When you do meet in person, make sure it’s at a public location

This one is a no-brainer. The first time you meet a stranger, whether it’s for dating or not, and whether you met on an online dating app or not, you should always make sure that you’re in a public space. This doesn’t mean just for the date either but during your trips there and back too. This is the most basic and important safety tip there is – always make sure there are other people around you.

4. The photos you use for your dating profile should be different from your other social media photos

It’s tempting to just reuse all your best photos from other social media sites for your dating profile. However, online stalkers and other ill-meaning people on dating platforms are well-known for using reverse image search tools to stalk people. This won’t always be a problem if that reverse image search leads them to the same sites you’ve linked in your dating profile anyway. However, if you’re using photos that can also be found on sites you don’t want a stalker peeking into, then you might have a problem. So, it’s usually safest to just use new photos instead.

5. Never give money or your personal information to strangers online

This is another tip that sounds obvious, but you’d be surprised how often both men and women fail at this. Whether you’re using a local online dating app or one of those international brides websites such as Brides Universe, there is always a risk that scammers will pretend to be interested in you so they can ask you for money, gifts, or your personal info instead. If someone asks you for such things before you’ve started meeting in person and getting to know each other, it’s usually best to just block and report them immediately.

6. Be certain you’ll be in control of your own transportation

Being dependent on someone else for transportation is one of the simplest and nastiest ways abusers control their victims. This is often the case even in long-term relationships and marriages, let alone in newer relationships or when dating online. Simply put – always make sure you are in control of your transportation. This way, no one can manipulate you into going or staying with them anywhere you don’t want to go or stay.

7. Never leave your drink unattended

Roofies – or just Rohypnol – have been the bane of single women for decades. The total number of roofies victims over the years is virtually incalculable. That’s why most women know to always keep their drinks with them when going to bars, dance clubs, or other social events.

8. Before your first few in-person dates, always tell a friend what your date plans are

Another very simple but effective safety tip is to always let a friend know where and when you’re going on a date, as well as who you’re going with. This has two effects: 1) should something bad happen, you’ll have a friend who can help, and 2) if you let your friend know all that while you’re in the presence of your date – via a phone call, for example – your date will know not to do anything stupid.

9. Know your drinking limit and stay (at least relatively) sober

It’s always a good idea to figure out what your drinking limit is. For one, it isn’t healthy to drink too much anyway. Even more importantly, however, bad things can happen on a date if you get drunk. So, especially on the first few dates with someone, make sure to always be relatively sober.

10. Ask for a quick video call before your first in-person date

Asking for a quick video call before a date is always a good way to ensure that your date is indeed who they say they are and aren’t hiding something fishy. If they refuse – even if you’ve explained that this is just a simple safety practice and you don’t mean anything personal by it – then that’s a huge red flag and a hint that it may be better not to go to that date at all.

11. Keep the first date simple

A first date doesn’t need to be anything overly long or elaborate. Something as simple as a coffee or a brunch can be more than enough for the two of you to get to know each other while still being enjoyable. After all, the purpose of the first date is just to get a feel for the other person.

12. Enlist the help of a bartender or waiter

Even if you’ve already called a friend, it’s still a good idea to have a second person in your corner. A good practice is to ask the bartender or a waiter to keep an eye on you, your date, and your drink, as well as to be ready to intervene if things don’t go as planned.

Conclusion

Every situation is different, of course – not every tip above is necessary every single time, and there are situations that call for other types of protective measures. Still, the 12 safety tips above will cover most of your basic safety needs and will keep you protected while you navigate the complicated and exciting dating scene.

SEE ALSO: How2Invest: Interactive Tools & Everything You Need to Know

Salman Ahmad is a seasoned writer for CTN News, bringing a wealth of experience and expertise to the platform. With a knack for concise yet impactful storytelling, he crafts articles that captivate readers and provide valuable insights. Ahmad's writing style strikes a balance between casual and professional, making complex topics accessible without compromising depth.

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