10 rules for safe online dating
Online dating can be a great way to meet new people without the pressure of awkward social situations. Make sure you have the best possible experience by keeping these 10 rules for safe online dating in mind.
Never share personal information
Not at first, anyway. Any online dating site worth its salt will offer you a messaging system, which you can use to contact other members of the site. This means you don’t need to give out your email address, phone number or home address to set up a first meeting with someone. Keep your personal information private until you’ve got to know them and feel comfortable.
Use a free email provider
Your email address can give away a lot of information about you. If you give someone your work email address you are also likely to be giving them information such as your last name and your place of work. This information can be used to find out more about you using Facebook, Google, or even by calling your place of work and making enquiries. Using a free email service provider such as Gmail, Yahoo! Or Hotmail, and creating an email address which doesn’t contain personal information, will help to keep you safe.
Take your time
The beauty of online dating is that you get to know people at your own pace. You are never obligated to meet anyone face to face, no matter how much you’ve spoken online. Ask questions, and really spend some time getting to know the person. Once you feel comfortable over email the next step is to have a chat on the phone. Use a mobile phone rather than giving out your home or work number, as a mobile phone is harder to trace back to an address.
Meet in public
Once you have emailed back and forth, talked on the phone and you are feeling really comfortable with the other person you might decide that you want to meet up face to face. Arrange to meet somewhere casual, relaxed and full of other people. Meeting up for coffee at a café can be a great way to start. Never meet someone for the first time at a residence, a secluded spot, or somewhere difficult to get to and from.
Arrange your own transport
Drive yourself or take a taxi for the first meeting. If they offer to pick you up don’t feel you have to agree to be polite. Don’t go home with your date, invite them back to your place or accept a lift home. It can take a while to really get to know a person, so meet up a few times before you consider revealing your address.
Click NEXT to discover five more ways to stay safe while online dating, plus how to spot a scam
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