As technology and digitization continue to advance, you can do more things in the online world. With the Internet, connecting with people from all around the world has never been made easier. While social networking sites are at the forefront of the Internet today, another thing has recently become popular in the online space – online dating.
In the last few years, the percentage of people using online dating sites has increased. Likewise, the stigma attached to dating sites has also gradually dissipated over time as online dating is now more common and socially accepted. However, if you decided to sign up for a dating site, you still have to be careful of several things.
Meeting people online has risks, especially when it is easier to manipulate information or even fake identities online. With reports of online scammers swarming the Internet from time to time, it can be scary to get into the online dating space. By taking the proper measures and continuously staying vigilant, however, you can keep yourself safe.
Before you jump into the online dating world, it will be helpful to familiarize yourself with the many dating sites. If you have preferences, then getting to know each one will also be useful in ensuring you have a pleasant experience. More importantly, however, you have to be careful when choosing a site because you are putting information and talking to people online.
Make sure that the dating site you choose is trustworthy and has good security policies in place. At the same time, be cautious if a website asks you for too much personal information that is irrelevant to your membership. Often, you can trust larger and more reputable sites to keep your information private. With that said, it will still be best to do your research before you sign up for any website.
When giving out any information online, you have to be extra careful. Make sure not to disclose your personal information in your dating profile or other social media accounts. Nowadays, people can easily find information on a person through a simple search on their web browser. Thus, you have to be careful not to include any details that might come out on the Internet if someone were to search your name.
As much as possible, choose a username that does not reveal anything about your real name. When getting to know someone online, make sure not to give out any specific details about the places you frequent, along with the times.
For extra safety, make sure to set your social media accounts to the maximum security level, and restrict any applications from posting about your whereabouts. Ultimately, you can never be too careful, especially when it comes to your safety.
There is no sure way of knowing whether a person is being truthful online or not, but there are certainly red flags that you should watch out for.
Right off the bat, you can inspect a user’s profile and watch out for alarming signs. It is often recommended to “play detective” on any potential suitors online to verify their profile photo and information. Check to see if their picture is a stock image, or whether the information you find does not add up. Many scammers, for instance, pose as military personnel deployed to another country, which they might use as an excuse for not being able to meet up.
One rule of thumb in online dating is that if it is too good to be true, then it most likely is. People can easily create fake personas online and flood their profiles with false credentials or achievements to make them seem like the perfect match. Other times, you may also find overflattering people who confess their love even when you have not yet met them.
Another thing you should look out for is people who immediately try to pry and get as much personal information as they can, even though you only started talking. Whatever the scenario may be, always be vigilant and do not give out too many details.
One of the most alarming signs of an online dating scam is when a person asks you for money for any possible reason – health issues, family emergencies, and others. If this ever comes up in a conversation, you are likely talking to a scammer. Immediately report the user to your dating site’s customer service representative to get the proper assistance.
Before you agree to meet with anyone, be sure that you are comfortable and have verified their profile. It will not hurt to take some time to talk to the person and know them, so you can also see whether the person is believable or not.
When planning your first meet-up, be extremely careful about the place you choose. Never choose your home or neighborhood since you can easily be found there, and never select a secluded area. Likewise, do not allow the other person to pick you up at home since you want to keep your address private as much as you can.
The best place for your first meeting is a public place. If possible, choose a common dating place that many people visit. Another thing you can do is let your close friend know about when and where you will be meeting to be extra safe.
With meetings, something you should watch out for is people who constantly say they want to meet you but always have an excuse to back out when the time comes. Since online dating scammers create fake personas, they have no intention of meeting in person. The same can be said about users who do everything they can to avoid video chats since they do not want to reveal themselves.
Online dating has undoubtedly grown in popularity from the time they first emerged on the Internet, just as reputable escort sites have. Nonetheless, you always have to think of your safety when engaging with people online. As long as you stay careful and vigilant, you can avoid the dangers of online dating and pleasantly meet new people online. As the saying goes, better safe than sorry.