This article is a paid editorial by Flirt.com.
Any activity that is carried out online should be done with caution. This includes many things such as shopping but when it comes to meeting new people and dating online, extra caution should be taken.
It all comes down to the fact that you are essentially getting to know strangers and that means that it comes with a wide range of challenges that you need to understand and deal with. This can involve scams as well as identity theft, so you need to understand the signs to look out for as well as the things you can do to reduce those risks and stay safe.
Keep Personal Data Safe
If an individual asks you for any personal data, refrain from giving it to them. It is important that you build a level of trust and familiarity with them before handing over any personal information. This includes your email address, phone number and your address. If they are genuine then they will not mind waiting for things to become more established before getting your details.
Try to Date Local People
While this is not set in stone, anyone who is out to scam will do so from a distance as they are less likely to get caught. This means that you should be aware of sob stories because they should be more interested in dating you and not talking about money.
Check That Their Picture Is Real
The beauty of the internet is that it can make it easier to find out whether people are genuine. If you have any doubts about their profile photo then upload it to site’s such as TinEye as this will make it possible to find out where the image has appeared online. It is common for scammers to steal images from many social media sites.
Many people who may be out to scam you will come from countries further afield. Take a look at their messages and try to spot any bad grammar and poor English.
Check Them Out Online
Many people play their lives out online through many of the social media websites. This makes it easy for you to verify them before meeting them. Of course, this is not a case of knowing everything about them but making sure they are genuine is a great place to start.
Any Doubts? Remove Them
If you have any kind of doubt over their credibility all you need to do is remove them and delete their profile. You do not have to meet people that you speak with online and if you feel comfortable or under pressure then it is time to look elsewhere.
Meet Somewhere Safe
Always remember that no matter how much you have conversed online with someone new, you still do not fully know him or her. Therefore, arrange to meet them in a neutral place and never accept an invite to their home. Along with this, do not accept a lift with them in their car if they offer to take you. This means they will know where you live the very first time you meet up.
Have A Day-Date
Traditionally, dates have taken place after dark but online dating is so accessible that a date can take place at any time. Therefore, why not consider suggesting a day-date? You could have a late breakfast, brunch or even just a coffee, while it is safe, it also gives you the perfect excuse should you need to cut the date short at any time.
Tell People About Your Date
Remember to tell a few people about who you are dating and tell them a bit about the individual. Inform them of when you are meeting and when you are meeting and do not be afraid to text them during the date from the toilet to let them know how it is going or if your plans are changing.
Online Dating Is Still Great Fun
Despite all of this, online dating is still the ideal way of meeting new people. It is accessible and fun and can be done at any time of day. Apps and sites now make it possible to speak with potential dates when you are on the train, grabbing a coffee or even cooking your evening meal. However, in the same way that you would not go off with a complete stranger, you need to take the same mentality with those you meet online. Online dating reaches far and wide and so, there are many different people who use the sites for all the wrong reasons. Despite this, it is still safe to use but exercising an element of caution is never a bad thing to do. Through following the tips above, you can ensure that you really do give yourself the best chance of meeting someone you can get to know better but also trust.