Top Tips for Safe Online Dating
Online dating has become very popular nowadays due to the advent of the internet. From all over the globe, people are now relying on technology to find a mate. But is it safe?
Before you venture out in the online world to find your potential soul mate, you might want to keep these few tips in mind to make your online experience safe and fruitful.
1. Until youíre absolutely sure, keep the friendship online - You might want to sign up with a reputable online service if possible, those that have TV ads are usually a good bet. Before you even fill-up the application form with your personal information, itís a good idea to do some research on the dating service youíre planning on joining. Some of the well-established companies provide their customers with their guidelines on what kinds of information they will need from you, and they will also tell you what they will use it for. They also have chat capabilities on their websites that will allow you to chat with the other members without having to give your personal information.
If youíve found a service that you want to join, itís best to keep all your personal information to yourself at first. Never give out your phone number or home address to anyone online. You should limit yourself to anonymous chatting until youíre sure enough that you can trust the other person you correspond with, and then you can give your real name and phone number.
You can set-up a free e-mail account just for the dating service, create a voicemail account, and even rent a PO Box if you want. These will enable you to protect your identity from online thieves and still allow the other members of the service to contact you.
2. Always be careful when making phone calls - You can get a lot of personal information on a person just by knowing their phone number that is why it is important that you protect yours. So if possible, always use a cell phone or a public when you call. If you ever use your home phone to call someone you met online, block the caller ID, so the person on the other line wonít find out what your number is.
A sure way to make sure about whoever youíre calling is to call directory assistance first and make sure that number that you have corresponds with the personís name.
3. Be careful if you decide to meet up in person - When you decide that itís about time that the two of you meet, the most important thing is to not agree to meet at the personís home, thatís just asking for trouble. You could instead meet in a public place where there are a lot of people, like the mall or a special event you can attend. You should also inform a few friends about where youíre going, and ask them to call your cell phone at a set time. And if possible, take a friend with you, you may want to suggest this to the other person as well, itís a lot easier to break the ice if there are a lot of you on date.
Here are some more precautions you should take on your first date:
During the course of a meal, do not leave your food or personal belongings unattended. If you need to leave the table, say to go to the bathroom, take your purse with you. And when you come back, order a fresh drink. If you start to feel a bit sick, call someone immediately and ask to drive you back home.
And most importantly, donít get drunk, or better yet do not drink any alcoholic beverage at all. You need to be able to drive yourself back home.
There are people out there that would do anything to take advantage of you, especially if youíre not careful. Be aware of everything about the person you meet online. Be skeptical if the information you get while the two of you are talking contradicts what they have in their profile. Donít be paranoid, just be careful.
Remember that online - specifically in online dating - anyone can say that theyíre someone else, so never believe everything that you hear someone say. Thereís no way that you can be completely safe in any kind of situation. Thereís always an element of danger anywhere you go; the best that you can do to at least minimize the risk is to use caution and your common sense.