Tuesday, January 5, 2021

Online Dating: Stay Safe with These Tips


There is no perfect place to find love.

For those that do not have a lot of time on their hands to physically meet people, online dating is a no-brainer. Here, it is possible to meet someone you would like to be with and arrange a meet.

With every other online thing, though, this could go sideways. What if they are not who they say they are? What if the person on the other side is some form of creep?

There are a lot of what-ifs. That informed this piece on the many dangers of online dating, and how to stay safe too. 

1. Chat on the phone before meeting

If you set the first date with your online contact, make sure to chat on the phone first. There is fun in having blind dates – but it is more important to stay safe so that you can have more fun in life too.

Have a call and know what they sound like. If possible, switch to a video call just to get more comfortable with one another before the date.

2. Tell someone

Whenever you are going to meet someone you met online, tell someone close to you.

Let them know the details of the person you are going to meet, and where the meet is happening. We recommend asking your contact to try reaching you on the phone some minutes into the date. Just to check up and be sure you are safe, that’s all. 

3. Use a VPN

News of cyberstalks is not strange to us anymore. Such unscrupulous individuals can mine or analyze your internet traffic to determine where you are chatting them from.

If they should get their hands on your address, that could become a nightmare very fast. You should download a VPN for network encryption before you start chatting at all.

That way, no one can know your location, neither can they obtain personal information that you did not directly divulge. 

4. Cloak your Number

You can always stop talking to someone that you feel is not a good match for you. If they do not take the message well, that could open up a door to constant disturbance harassment, and even worse, stalking too. It becomes worse when you have already given out your phone number.

Fortunately, trusted service like Google Voice allows you to create a phone number separate from your main line. That phone number can always be disabled anytime, so don’t worry about being stuck on it either.

Final Words

A solid piece of advice is to always trust your gut feeling. If you feel that something might be off, it probably is.

Likewise, never divulge too much information online. When a potential date starts asking for things like your credit card details, social security number, or other sensitive information, they might be trying to scam you.

Do not ignore the red flags and stick to trusted platforms. That way, online dating won’t leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Article written by Marie Cadelina

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