Online Dating Safety Tips
Online dating or
Internet Dating is very
popular these days. But while dating online has the advantages
in its own, over the period of time this has been misused and is
corrupted by many disadvantages.
Online Dating is fun and convenient but still one has to
be very careful while dating with someone they hardly know. Here
are some tips following which may help you in safe and sound
Talk via telephone.
A phone call can reveal much about a person's communication and
social skills. It is worth the cost of the call to protect your
security. But do not give out your personal phone number to a
stranger. Try a cell phone number instead for added security. Or
make arrangements to call from a pay phone. Only when you feel
completely comfortable should you furnish your phone number.
Start slow. While dating over the net, watch out for
someone who seems too good to be true. Begin by first
communicating solely via email. Be on the lookout for odd
behaviour or inconsistencies. "Listen" to your correspondent's
words. The person at the other end may not be who or what he/she
says. Trust your instincts. If anything makes you uncomfortable,
walk away for your own safety and protection.
Guard your anonymity. Never include your last name, real
email address, personal Web site URL, home address, phone
number, place of work, or any other identifying information in
your profile or initial emails you exchange with other members.
Make sure your email signature file is turned off, or does not
include identifying information, when corresponding with a
member via your own email. Stop communicating with anyone who
pressures you for this information or attempts in any way to
trick you into revealing it. Take all the time you need to
become comfortable with someone before revealing any personal
contact information. Ask questions and make sure you are
satisfied with the answers. Trust your instincts, move
cautiously and be selective.
Exercise caution and common sense. Careful, well-thought
decisions generally lead to better results in dating, and this
is certainly true with online dating too. Guard against trusting
the untrustworthy. Any suitor must earn your trust gradually,
through consistently honorable, forthright behaviour. Your job is
to take all the time you need to test for a trustworthy person,
and pay careful attention along the way. Take a relatively
conservative approach to trusting anyone you meet online. If you
think someone is lying, it is likely that they are, so act
accordingly. Move on to someone you can eventually trust.
Conduct yourself and your romances in a responsible manner.
Don't fall in love at the click of a mouse. Don't become
prematurely intimate with someone, even if that intimacy only
Request a photo. A photo will give you a good idea of the
person's appearance, which may prove helpful in achieving a gut
feeling about your correspondent. In fact, it's best to view
several images of this person in a variety of settings: casual,
formal, indoor, outdoors. If he or she continuously comes up
with an excuse, it may be because that person has something to
hide. Getting a photo scanned is not expensive, so there is
little excuse for not doing it.
Meet when you are ready. The beauty of meeting and
relating online is that you can gradually collect information
and then make a choice about pursuing the relationship in the
real world. You are never obligated to meet anyone, regardless
of your level of online intimacy. And even if you do decide to
arrange a meeting, you always have the right to change your
mind. It's possible that your decision to keep the relationship
at the anonymous level is based on a hunch that you can't
logically explain. Trust yourself. Go with your gut instincts,
even when they can't be logically explained. Never meet someone
who argues against your instincts, finds logical flaws with your
feelings or pressures you in any way.
Watch for Red Flags. Pay attention to any displays of
anger, intense frustration or attempts at pressuring or
controlling you. Acting in a passive-aggressive manner, making
demeaning or disrespectful comments or any physically
inappropriate behaviour are all red flags. You should also be
concerned if your date exhibits any of the following conduct
without providing an acceptable explanation:
Select the Safest Possible Environment. When you make the
choice to meet offline, always tell someone where you are going
and when you will return. Leave your date's name and telephone
number with that person. Never arrange for your date to pick you
up at home. Provide your own transportation, meet in a public
place at a time when many people are present, and when the date
is over, leave on your own as well. A familiar restaurant or
coffee shop, at a time when a lot of other people will be
present is often a fine choice. Avoid hikes, bike rides or
drives in remote areas for the first few dates. If you decide to
move to another location, take your own car. When the timing is
appropriate, thank your date for getting together and say
- Provides inconsistent information about
age, interests, appearance, marital status, profession,
- Refuses to speak to you over the phone
after establishing ongoing, online intimacy.
- Fails to provide direct answers to direct
- Appears in person to be significantly
different from his or her online persona.
- Never introduces you to friends,
professional associates or family members.
Take Extra Caution Outside Your Area. If you are flying
in from another area, arrange for your own car and a hotel room.
Do not disclose the name of your hotel and never allow your date
to make the arrangements for you. Rent a car at the airport and
drive directly to your hotel. Call your date from the hotel or
meet at the location you have already agreed to. If the location
seems inappropriate or unsafe, go back to your hotel. Try to
contact your date at that location, or leave a message on a home
machine. Always make sure a friend or family member knows your
plans and has your contact information. And if possible, carry a
cell phone at all times.
Get yourself out of a jam. Never do anything you feel
unsure about. If you are in any way afraid of your date, use
your best judgment to diffuse the situation and get out of
there. Excuse yourself long enough to call a friend for advice,
ask someone else on the scene for help, or slip out of the back
door and drive away. If you feel you are in danger call the
police. It's always better to be safe than sorry. Never worry or
feel embarrassed about your behaviour. Your safety is much more
important than one person's opinion of you.
There are lots of online services which give you a safe and
secure environment to dating online.
While liars, cheaters and impostors certainly play their craft
on the Web, you'll also find them in nightclubs, among the
membership ranks of off-line dating services, at cocktail
parties, and occasionally sitting across from you at your local
café. Regardless of where, or how, you meet someone, dating is
never a risk-free activity. A little caution will reduce your
risk in these matters of the heart.