You need to keep online dating safety in mind with the many online dating sites and apps around.
The discovery of your soulmate could begin with a simple swipe right, but never compromise your online dating safety. The convenience of online dating appeals to all. It provides a protective, cyber wall that lets you screen a person before you even meet them. While online dating may appear to lessen your vulnerability or squelch any surprises, it actually has many of its own unique pitfalls.
The information you see on a potential love interest’s profile could be entirely made up and some users may have sinister intentions. Make sure you know how you can protect yourself online, so you don’t find yourself in a catfishing or scam scenario. Here are some tips that will help you stay safe in the world of online dating:
When you meet someone online, online dating safety starts by limiting the amount of information you provide. If they are an online predator who plans to commit any sort of fraud, they will to collect as much information as possible from you. If it feels like someone is pressuring you for very personal details, this is a warning sign. Many people will go beyond the dating site and look you up on all other social sites for additional information. The closer they can get, the more at risk you are. Set your social media settings to private so they can’t gather any information they could use against you. Don’t use your entire first and last name on the dating site, as that is another way someone can easily cyber stalk you.
Protect yourself from theft or identity fraud, when you engage in online dating. Do not share or post any personal information that provides details related to your bank account, credit card number or Social Security number. Try and refrain from sharing your personal contact information, as identity thieves will often pretend to be your financial institution in emails or phone calls. Utilize an identity theft protection service, like LifeLock, which can help you stay safe from any scams or fraudulent activities.
Paid vs. Free Dating Sites
There are many advantages and disadvantages that come with both free and paid online dating services. On a paid dating site you will get better quality of services, find more active profiles and meet people who take their involvement seriously. Paid sites also help weed out those who commit online fraud. These sites require more detailed information for payment and enrollment, which holds members accountable.
Unpaid sites may only require an email or phone number, which can easily be made up. An identity thief or con artist will not want to pay for the services of the paid online dating site, as it may not be worth the reward, and they will also be wary of sharing any personal details.
Meeting in Person
After the first few message exchanges, ask your potential love interest if they can meet in person. If they live far away, offer the option to video chat. It is best to physically see the person you’re interested in, so you know they are how they appear on their profile. If your love interest seems wary of a face-to-face meeting, this is an immediate red flag. A scammer will rarely meet you in person, so this is one of the best methods that will test how genuine they are.