How to protect yourself when using online dating sites

Recently, dating online is gaining much popularity, and it has continuously been evolving. In the recent past, hosts of dating websites have cropped up and are consistently dominating the online dating scene.

Currently, due to the coronavirus pandemic we have witnessed a rise in online dating mobile apps, which has created a buzz on how they are transforming the sector with ease of time in getting a match.

With a rise in popularity and use of this service by most singles, there is an increased rise in identity theft and other under cyber-crimes.

Cyber Crime on the rise

Therefore, it’s crucial to practice **safe dating online **by following the tips below.

1. Do thorough background research

As a rule of thumb is a must, you carry out a background search via Google or any other platform, both social and otherwise, before meeting your online date.

This general advice should be applied both to the online dating website you use and to the user you would like to date. Establish if they are stalkers, doing this will give you an idea beforehand of the person you are about to meet. Find their pictures and possibly use Google images or Instagram to dig any extra information associated with their profile picture.

If they are faceless, you should exercise a lot of precautions when proceeding with such kind of engagement.

And don’t forget to join only safe online dating websites with strict privacy policy.

2. Get a Google voice number rather than using your own

Getting a free Google voice number (if available in your area) takes your safety a step further.

This Google voice app allows you to anonymously check your voicemails, calls, and messages with your real numbers not leaked.

The app will enable you to block any individual you deem not safe while keeping your contact secure and accessible to those you are comfortable with.

3. Limit the amount of private information you disclose upfront

It’s essential to be extra cautious with the amount and the type of information you disclose to your online date. It’s always advisable you desist from giving out your birth dates, places you occasionally hangout, names of your family members, plus any other information you deem personal and private.

Work on knowing each other first for a couple of months up to until when you feel you are both comfortable to open up.

Do it gradually without rushing as scammers have the patience of a cat when they are preying on you.

4. If it’s too good to be true, chances are it is.

A lot of profiles on lines have created our dream come real personas when we go through them. In case your online date portrays a picture of some super-rich personality, or they are flowing in billions, many are the time they are not telling the truth.

If anything described on their profile does not add up to you or instead sounds strange, then it’s the right time to ask questions.

Whenever your date pushes the defensive button, then you know you are dealing with something different from your prince charming. Don’t be afraid to annoy and offend or even make them uncomfortable.

It might sound unreasonable if they can’t give you a proof of the information you are seeking.

5. Disclose this relationship with a close friend or a relative.

In a bid to protect yourself from your emotions, it’s advisable to engage a third party who can most likely be your closest friend. With some information about your online date, they will be able to point out some red flags you may not be able to see. If your friends show concern or they don’t feel safe about your date, take their precautions seriously, and act on their fears.

6. Listen to your feelings and guts.

If the person inside you is a bit hesitant or has some feeling of discomfort towards your online date, don’t ignore that voice. It won’t be of any significant value investing your time and resources in a relationship you not ready to get into.

By allowing your online prince charming cloud, your judgment may end up in tears.

Similarly, having been single for too long may sometimes lead to desperation, and you may become vulnerable, and in such situations, we say it better being safe than sorry.

Going slow will help you avoid a lot of mistakes many people make in online dating.

Don’t fall for premature love requests and declarations.

Avoid the temptations of sending sexy photos to the online crush you have never met.

Practice safe casual dating before falling into temptations of posting any material that may compromise yourself later!

Photo by Sandeep Swarnkar on Unsplash