Online dating has become the norm for many people. Bigger cities and busier lives means it’s hard to meet new people and since we do everything from banking to house hunting and shopping online, why not add dating to the mix? As well, many people see online dating as a safer option than approaching a stranger in a bar. While it may be convenient, online dating should not be something seen as %100 safe either. We’ve compiled the Best 5 Safety Tips for Online Dating.
When choosing photos for your online dating profile, always use new photos that will only be utilized for that account.
Why? While those photos of you vacationing in Aruba last year may look amazing, if you take that photo and use a reverse image search on Google, you’ll quickly find out why.
Images are often linked to identifying information about you or will lead people back to your personal social media accounts, Flickr or even email addresses.
On that note, if you’re supplying an email address with you account, make sure it’s one you created only for use with the account.
Keeping identifying information about you to an absolute minimum on your account is a must. Now, we know you don’t post your passport number and credit card info to your new Match.com account, but even innocuous bits of information can quickly lead to someone finding more information than you wanted to give out.
Let’s play a game, take a friend’s name and type it into Google with the city they live in. Did you maybe find a Linkedin account? Okay good, and now you probably know where they work. Need to find out exactly where they are? Call the listed number for the business and ask for directions.
You can talk about how much you love a certain team or bar without including that you go to that bar before the game every Thursday.
3The Buddy System
It’s the old buddy system that got you through so many elementary days! Tell a friend.
You’ve probably mentioned to your buddy that you’re meeting that girl from online tonight, but what have you really told them? Which bar you’re going to and when? When they can expect to hear back from you? Your date’s name and any pictures? While it may seem rife with paranoia, if you had met your date at a bar while drinking with your friend, all this information would already be available.
If you’re taking precautions, really take them and give a trusted friend a good amount of info in case they need to give the police something to go on.
4First Public Meeting
This is usually a tried and true tip; when you’re meeting someone that you met online for the first time, choose a well-lit public location. Often people opt just to go for coffee but if you want to have dinner together, why not? Just make sure it’s not at their house. Go to a restaurant, tell the hostess you’re meeting a date and sit near people. That super romantic walk on the boardwalk just after the sun sets? Save it for when you know a bit more than that he’s a Broncos fan and thinks you’re super hot.
5Keep it Private
Your social media account is a smorgasbord of personal and identifying information. You’ve probably posted about your job, your house, your favorite bar and running paths and a multitude of other things that make you easy to find. Sharing this information with your friends is one thing, but make a point not to share it with online prospects. Just like you keep the info on your dating profile to a minimum; keep your online dating life and your social media separate.