I’m a thirty-six year old woman that’s been wanting to try internet dating for the longest time. After all the horror stories I’ve heard about women being taken advantage of, brutally raped and even murdered, I’m a little hesitant about hooking up with someone that I meet on the net. I’ve got many friends that have found great guys this way and I would really like to give it a go myself. What are some safety tips you can give me to stay safe?
One thing I’d like to point out is that although there are many stories of horrible actions, keep in mind that MILLIONS of people have hooked up online successfully and the news never report on them. They tend to focus on the negative.
That being said, you should always take precautions when meeting someone for the first time.
Here’s a list of 10 safety tips for internet dating.
- The first and most obvious safety tip is to meet in public places in the beginning. No matter how nice a guy he portrays online, keep your first date(s) in public places.
- Tell a friend about your date. Tell a friend or a family member all the details about where you will be going. Make sure to give them his #, his name and any other info you have about your date.
- Use your own mode of transportation. Do not rely on him to drive you to and from the date.
- Stay Sober. Probably an evening killer for some of you, but it’s really important you stay sharp and alert especially on the first date.
- Avoid any and all free dating sites or local classifieds. Although there is pretty much no screening on almost all date sites, meeting someone from a paid community is always safer. Credit card details have been collected and so has his physical IP address. This deters the crazies from trolling for victims.
- Don’t exchange personal data over the internet. Do not give away your address, don’t tell him where you work, keep your phone number to yourself and avoid giving away your email address (most sites use an encrypted email system).
- Use the power of TinEye. Before meeting, upload his photos and see if he pops up anywhere else on the internet. This is a great way to find out if the person you’re talking to is actually who he says he is. Most scammers and predators will steal photos from Facebook and other social media sites. This way, you’ll know right away if he really is who he claims to be before actually meeting up with him.
- Keep your mobile phone handy at all times during the date. Always have easy access to your phone no matter what. You never know when you might need it to contact a friend, family member or even the authorities.
- Listen to your inner voice. If at any point during the date you feel uncomfortable, don’t shake it off. Your intuition is usually right on the marker. End the date and call it a night. Don’t ignore your gut.
- If you do happen to run into any type of trouble during the date, report him to the site and to the authorities. You might be saving someone a lot of trouble and possibly their life.
Stay vigilant, do NOT let your guard down at any time during the night no matter how charming he or she may be. The little voice in your head is there to help you and you should NEVER tune it out.
I wish you all the success in the world and hope you find that perfect match or casual encounter you’ve been looking for to spice up your personal life.