How to Date Online Safely?

Last updated: Aug 24, 2022
How to Date Online Safely?

Useful tips to help your online dating safely.

Nowadays, the traditional matchmaking process is brought online through many online dating sites, allowing people to meet one another through the internet. The vast majority of users of dating websites are sincere and truthful in both their profile information and their reasons for signing up. However, there are exceptions, you should be aware of how to protect yourself, your bank account, and your savings when meeting people online.

If you are using a dating site, you should verify whether the site is a member of the Online Dating Association(ODA) or not. By joining the association, a website agrees to adhere to a set of standards established by the industry, including access to communicate with users, the protection of their privacy, and the provision of a method for reporting abuse. The ODA logo is present on the website as proof of membership. 

couple smiling

Be anonymous

Pick a username that keeps your identity a secret. In your profile or when you initially initiate contact, avoid mentioning your last name or any other personally identifiable information, such as where you work.

Keep in mind that usernames that are overly sexual, provocative, or controversial may draw the wrong kind of attention.

Password & security

Make sure no one can see or record your password or personal information when you access your account from a shared orpublic computer.

Open email attachments from someone you haven't met yet with caution.

Make sure to update your internet security software.

Connecting with new people online

Take your time, get to know new people, and trust your feelings. Before contacting someone outside of the dating site, be caution and get to know them better. Mail and chat are provided by dating services so you can meet individuals in a monitored and controlled environment. Consider creating a different, anonymous email address if and when you do choose to reveal an email address.

 Take your time

Strong emotions might sometimes cloud your judgment when you're ecstatic about someone. When discussing oneself, be careful and take your time. The first time you chat, you don't have to — and shouldn't — share your life story. If your relationship progresses, there will be plenty of time to disclose such information. 

Protect the privacy of your contact details

According to Michael Kaiser, a former executive director of the National Cyber Security Alliance, "there's a difference between being cyber smart and cyber secure." Any possible dates will probably conduct a thorough Internet search on your name. They might come across your office's address in an Instagram post, your phone number connected to an online advertisement, or your office's location on LinkedIn.

Take Action: Avoid posting your home address, cell phone number, or personal email in your profile. Ensure that the information provided on your other virtual platforms is equally restricted. Don't ever give an app permission to share your location by setting the security settings on all of your social media accounts to private.

couple chatting in the park

Investigate possible suitors to learn more

It's crucial to confirm your suitor is who they claim to be by looking at other places where their images have been shared. People tend to be much less filtered on social media platforms like Twitter, so you might learn some unpleasant personality traits if their dating profile photograph matches their Twitter profile picture. You can also discover whether they are employing a phony image of a celebrity or model.

Take Action: Use reverse image search on your phone or copy the profile photo of a prospective match into the Google Images search box on your PC. In order to identify the source of the picture, Google will look for it using facial recognition, landmark recognition, and photo binary data.

Be careful when scheduling in-person meetings.

Pick your meeting spot carefully if you have a connection with someone and want to meet in person. If your date pressures you to go somewhere else, advises that you terminate the date right away. This includes meeting at your house or place of employment where they may easily locate you again.

Take Action: Inform a roommate or friend of your virtual date's name, location, and expected return time before you depart for the meeting. Consider setting up a "safe call" where a buddy calls you during the date to ensure that you feel at ease. Never ask someone you met online for a lift home after a date; always drive yourself there and back.

Be fearless while reporting someone.

Users are encouraged to report any suspicious behaviors on reputable dating websites. Aggressive or unlawful activity is not accepted on these sites. If your interactions with someone make you feel uncomfortable, most dating services provide you the choice to block that person.

Take Action: Get in touch with the dating site's customer support right away if someone is harassing or extorting you. Anyone involved in a relationship scam is urged by the Federal Trade Commission to additionally get in touch with its Complaint Assistant, the FBI's Internet Crime Complaint Center, and your state's Attorney General.