In today’s modern age, online dating has gained great popularity. There are so many dating websites and apps and it has become very common for people to meet their significant others online. Right now 40% of Americans are utilizing online dating and their ages range from young to old. What was once considered slightly taboo has now become mainstream. Even though online dating has risen in popularity, you may still wonder if it is safe.

Is online dating safe? 7 Tips for Online Dating

  1. Use a credible website. According to Forbes, there are almost 8,000 dating sites in the world. The United States alone has 2,500 dating sites and every year 1,000 dating sites are launched. Also, fraud is on the rise in the US. Sticking with the larger, more reputable websites like Bumble, Tinder, and Match.com can be beneficial. Many of these sites require a memberships fee so choose carefully.
  2. Meet in a public place. Even if you have been talking with a person who feels trustworthy, this is an important safety precaution. Continue to meet in public places until you are comfortable with the person. After that you can think about meeting one-on-one.
  3. Keep your contact info private. It is always good to err on the side of caution. I try to avoid including my full or last name on profiles. I also never give my full name until after a few dates. Don’t use Facebook or Instagram photos in your profile. It is likely that a potential date will google your name and may find your work address on linkedin or location on instagram. Never post details such as your address, phone number, and personal email address on your profile. Additionally, set your settings to the maximum security levels on your social media platforms. Finally, do not allow an app to post your location.
  4. Investigate potential dates. It is important to verify that people are who they say they are. Google their name and look up their social media to gain a little insight into who the person is. If you find anything sketchy it is not too late to bail. Think of this step as research rather than stalking.
  5. Use the buddy system before and after dates. Tell at least one person where you are going, who you are going with, and what time you plan on going home.
  6. Take public transportation or drive yourself to and from your dates. Always drive yourself to and from dates because it can be risky to rely on someone you met online for a ride.
  7. Trust your gut. It is so common for people to embellish who they are. If something seems too good to be true it probably is. And if something feels off then it probably is. Trust your gut and do not be afraid to cut off contact with someone at any point.

While connecting virtually has its risks, it can be a convenient way to meet someone in a low pressure setting. Make sure apply these tips and stay safe.