When compared to where it began, the popularity of online dating has risen dramatically in recent years. In fact, dating websites and apps have provided single people with a new and simple way to meet others.
However, the convenience of dating websites and apps has brought with it some new challenges, notably in terms of safety. Interacting with strangers online, for example, can expose you to identity theft, online harassment, stalking, digital dating abuse, catfishing, and other scams. And, if you do decide to meet someone you met on a dating app “in real life,” you must secure your physical safety as well.
We’ve collected a list of crucial facts regarding online dating to make navigating the online dating scene a little easier and safer. We’ve also included some tips on how to choose the best dating app for you, as well as important safety considerations for online dating.
Connecting with questionable profiles is not a good idea
It’s possible that the person you matched with has no bio, no associated social media accounts, and has only posted one picture. If you choose to connect with someone about whom you know very little, you should proceed with caution.
Take a look at your possible date’s social media profiles
Look up your match’s name or social media handles—or better yet, if you have mutual connections on social media—to make sure they aren’t “catfishing” you by creating a phony social media account to establish their dating profile.
Don’t give out personal information right away
Never send out sensitive information to someone you haven’t met in person, such as your credit card information, bank account information, or office or home address. Dating apps and websites will never send you an email requesting your username and password information, so if you receive one, delete it and consider filing a complaint.
Suspicious users should be blocked and reported
If you believe another user’s profile is questionable or if they have acted inappropriately toward you, you can block and report them. Before or after you’ve matched, you can usually do this anonymously. It is always possible for someone to misrepresent themselves in any social interaction. Trust your instincts about whether or not someone is being true in their representation of themselves.
The following is a collection of frequent stories or suspicious behavior that scammers may use to gain confidence and sympathy in order to manipulate another user in an unhealthy way.
-Asks for financial help in any way, usually due to a sudden personal crisis
-Claims to be from the United States but is currently living, working, or traveling abroad
-Claims to be recently widowed with children
-Disappears from the site and reappears under a different name
-Gives vague answers to specific questions
-Is overly complimentary and romantic too early in your communication
-Pressures you to provide your phone number or talk outside the dating
-Asks for your home or work address in the hopes of delivering flowers or presents
-Tells contradictory stories
-Tries to sell you products or services
-Has a high degree of education yet uses incoherent language and grammar
Don’t give in to requests for financial assistance
Never agree to a request to send money, no matter how reasonable and compelling the explanation may appear. If you receive such a request, notify the app or website you’re using right away.
Use face recognition to verify your identity
To verify that their users are authentic, the top dating apps and hookup sites employ a variety of ways. One of the most effective ways they achieve this is by requesting a copy of your photo identification. While this helps to reduce the number of scam profiles and phony users, some always manage to slip through the cracks.
Look for websites that require facial recognition in order to utilize them if you are serious about remaining safe online. Sure, it won’t catch every phony profile, but you’ll be able to talk to more people, safe in the knowledge that they’re real people looking for love.
Install the most recent version of the app
If you’re familiar with internet software or mobile apps, you’re probably aware of how frequently developers make changes and provide updates. You won’t have to worry about being left behind with a buggy dating service because your smartphone will usually download these updates automatically.
That said, making sure you’re utilizing the most recent version of your online dating app is always a smart idea. When these apps are updated, they frequently fix various system flaws. Every day, developers discover vulnerabilities and issue fixes to address them.
Use only reputable dating sites that have been verified
You’d be shocked at how many dating sites are currently available on the internet. There are thousands of smaller sites that cater to particular demographics and kinks, in addition to the major hitters like Tinder and Bumble. Whatever you’re looking for, there’s certainly a matchmaking service that can help you find it.
However, not all of these dating sites will be trustworthy. Many are created solely to defraud you of your money when you purchase a premium subscription. Before signing up for a dating service, do yourself a favor and read some reviews. These will tell you everything you need to know about a site and might just save you the headache of paying for a subscription just to discover that all of the members are fraudulent.
When You Meet in Person
Before you meet in person, video chat
After you’ve matched and chatted with a possible date, consider scheduling a video chat with them before you meet up in person for the first time. This is a wonderful technique to double-check that your match is who they say they are in their profile. It could be a hint of suspicious conduct if they firmly object to a video call.
Inform a friend about your online date
Take a picture of your date’s profile and email it to a friend. Let at least one friend know where you’re going on your date and when you’ll be there. If you decide to continue your date somewhere you hadn’t planned on, text a friend to let them know. It’s also a good idea to text or phone a friend halfway through the date to check-in, or after you arrive home.
Meet in a public area
Avoid meeting someone you don’t know well on your first date in your house, apartment, or office. It may be more comfortable for both you and your date to meet in a coffee house, restaurant, or bar where there are a lot of other people. For first dates, avoid meeting in public parks or other remote settings.
Don’t rely on your date to get you around
It’s critical that you have control over your own transportation to and from the date, so you can leave whenever you want and are not reliant on your date if you become uncomfortable. Even if the person you’re meeting offers to pick you up, don’t get in a car with someone you don’t know and trust, especially if this is your first meeting.