Online dating is quickly becoming the top way to meet a potential partner. With most people stuck at home due to the Coronavirus, it’s even more essential to singles all over the world. While there are plenty of romantic success stories from online dating, there are also some stories of scary encounters from bad online dates. It’s vital to put safety above all else when using online dating apps. Here are some ways to protect your privacy and your personal safety in the online dating world.
Limit the Details on Your Profile
Your online safety starts with your profile. When you first sign up for an online dating app, carefully write a profile that shows off your personality and what you want from a potential partner. Be sure to limit the details you put in your profile to keep your identity private. Most apps require at least one photo, your first name, and your age. Avoid sharing too many pictures, using your last name, your workplace, and any other identifying details. Never include your kids in your dating profile pictures.
Never Use Your Real Phone Number
Once you match with someone, you may start exchanging messages back and forth to get more information and to see if there is a mutual interest. Take your time with messaging with a new match on the dating app. At some point, your match may ask to move the conversation to text. Be careful about switching to a new way of communication. Instead of using your actual phone number, consider using a second phone number that isn’t connected to your name.
Research Your Potential Date
Once you’ve messaged a bit, your match may then suggest a date. Before agreeing to meet up in person, be sure to do a little bit of research about your match to make sure the person is being honest about things. Use tools like reverse image search or reverse phone number lookups to determine if the person’s photos are real. The phone number search may give you more details about the person and flag someone who may be married and lying.
Agree To Meet in Public
Meeting for an actual date is the next step in the online dating process. For a first date, always require it to be a busy, public place. Never agree to meet in person at your home or at the other person’s home. Politely decline any attempts for your date to pick you up from your house. Meet up at the spot separately. If things aren’t going well, you can leave whenever you want.
Let People Know Your Plans
Another way to keep yourself safe during that first date with an online dater is to make sure your close friends and family members know about your plans. Before heading out to your date, check in with at least one person you trust and explain where you’re going on your date. It may be wise to share your location with your friend during your date to help you feel more comfortable.
Avoid Giving Out Too Much Information
During that first date, be sure to continue to keep your safety in mind while also enjoying meeting up in person. If you ever feel uncomfortable, politely end the date and leave. Even though you’re meeting in person, it’s still important to keep personal, identifying information to yourself. Your last name, your occupation, and details about your home’s location shouldn’t be shared just yet. Continue to use the ninja number until you have gone on several dates.
Get To Know the Person
After a successful first date, it’s important to go slowly and get to know the person. Take your time with the dating process and learning more about the potential partner. Continue to schedule your first few dates in public places and make careful observations about the way the other person treats others and discusses personal details. If you notice any red flags, such as rapid mood shifts, inconsistencies about personal details, or anything else that makes you feel skeptical, it may a good idea to move on to someone else.
Finding love online is possible, but it’s also necessary to be safe and smart when meeting, texting, and dating strangers from the internet. Protect your privacy and keep yourself safe from harm by being smart and savvy about online dating.