While online dating is much safer than traditional methods of dating, it still poses its own unique challenges as it relates to privacy and safety. In recent years, there have been multiple stories of individuals who meet people online only to become the victim of assault or in some instances even worse. The most prominent danger with online dating rests in the ability for people to meet offline and develop a relationship without the barrier or protection that the internet and computers provide.
However, there are still some dangers that rest with online dating platforms even if you don’t meet the person you’re speaking to face to face. In recent studies, it’s estimated that about 15% of American adults use online dating platforms and with that many people online at one time, you never know who is lurking in the shadows waiting to make you their next victim.
There are a lot of intuitive tips and tricks that you can use to ensure you’re protected and safe from the dangers posed by online dating. As best practice, you always want to exercise extreme caution when using any online dating platform because it’s simply too risky to trust someone until you have verifiable proof that you can which is typically gained only after interacting with an individual over a certain period of time.
To help you stay safe and protected while using online dating platforms, we’re going to provide you with some of the top methods that you can implement right now to protect yourself from any potential threats that may be lurking behind that profile picture you’re chatting with.
Top tips to stay safe when dating online
One of the things that make online dating so risk is our willingness to feel the need for disclosing personal information. When you’re behind a computer screen, giving someone your name or phone number may seem harmless because in your mind they have no real way of contacting you physically and they probably have never seen you in person. However, even small pieces of information like this can be used to cause severe damage if it gets into the hands of an individual with negative intentions.
- Never reveal personal details- when dating online, you never want to reveal your personal details in any form or fashion. Refrain from giving any individual your real first or last name, address, or phone number when speaking to them for the first couple of months in your online relationship. While it may seem harmless, you never know who is on the other end of the keyboard until you have developed trust and malicious actors can use your personal details for negative reasons.
- Use Google voice- as a piggyback to what we said earlier, you should never give up your personal information when meeting someone online for the first time. Google voice allows you to get a internet phone number that you can use to communicate just like a regular one without having to expose your private information.
- Keep your job a secret- even once you feel like you’ve established trust with an individual online, you should never give them details as it relates to where you work or who you work for. This can lead to unwanted harassment or even worse if your job finds out.
All of these tips can be used as proactive measures to protect yourself from being exposed to unnecessary danger when using any online dating platform of your choice.
Remain distant yet connected
The only time you should feel comfortable giving up your personal details when meeting someone online is after you two have already met in person and established some sort of common bond.