How to stay safe while dating online

October 5, 2013

How to stay safe while dating online

Much like everything else, dating has gone digital in a very big way. More and more couples meet and even form life long relationships online.  Dating online is simply the most convenient solution and the option for an ever increasingly busy demographic.  People do not have the time to troll the bars anymore, although that is not to say that they don’t, online dating simply presents a much more efficient way of meeting people.

But much like with everything else online, there is an aspect of security involved. We all know that you need an anti virus and firewall in order to protect your computer from cyber threats such as viruses. But simply having a state of the art antivirus will not protect you from the potential threats that come with online dating. Staying safe online requires further precautionary steps. Here are some simple measures you can take to ensure that your online dating experience is much safer.

1. Do NOT give out your financial information

This has to come first as more often than not most scams involve money.  When dating online, do not give out your financial details nor your personal information.  Unless you are getting married the next second, whoever it is you are conversing with online does not need to know your social security number, bank information, home address or credit card number.

These are things that you may come to talk about when you guys are a year down the line and everything is going well.  But as long as you are simply getting to know each other, do not give them this information nor send them money.  Online wire transfers are nearly impossible to reverse.  No matter what sob story you hear, do not send money, as much as you may want to.  There are very high chances that the story is a scam.

2. Choose the website wisely

Choosing an online dating site

There are online dating sites that are well known for their privacy and strict client protection standards.  These are sites that enforce their policies against inappropriate use.  Sites that completely protect your identity until you decide to share the information with the potential love of your life.

Still you need to do your due diligence and find out about the site’s reputation, make sure they are not selling your personal information to marketing companies.  Another thing to remember when choosing a site is that you should endeavor to stay local.  It is not fool proof but scammers and ill intended people tend to ply their trade from a distance.  That way it is more difficult for them to get caught.

The sites we recommend here on have all been checked out by us carefully, so we only recommend sites we really trust and that have been around for a long time.

3. Be web wise

There are certain telltale signs that show you someone is not as genuine as they may want you to believe.  You are in an online dating site, these people are trying to charm and woo you, their stories should not make you uncomfortable. Look out for the following signs:

  • Someone who is quick to suggest that you talk through other means other than the forums chat rooms
  • Someone who asks for your address pretending that they want to send you a gift or flowers.
  • Talks about destiny, fate and confesses love too soon. (This is much like land based dating, it’s often a negative sign)
  • Claims to be from your country yet does not write nor sound like a local.
  • Someone who often vanishes from the site only to reappear as a different user under a different name.
  • Someone who asks for money (again, they are trying to woo you, it’s not a fundraiser)

You are simply asked to use common sense.  If something doesn’t add up about someone or they are pressurizing you for a meet or your personal information, immediately block any further communication with that persona and report them to the site admin.

4. Meeting in person precautions

Safe Dating Meeting In person tips

Of course the whole point of online dating is so that you can meet someone you share the same interests with and someone you may want to spend your life with or at the very least, date for a little while.  This involves meeting in person. This is the tricky part. Here is what you do:

  • Always meet in a public place and not dead in the night.
  • Tell a friend or family member everything about your date and where you are meeting them.
  • Bring your phone and keep it on.
  • Do not get drunk to the point of incoherence and lack of good judgement.
  • Always pay close attention to your personal belongings and drink. They may get stolen or you may get drugged.
  • Do not let them drive you home, at least not until you get to know them better.


5. Carry out due diligence

As things progress, you may start to take someone seriously.  This means that you may want to meet them physically. At this point you should know a little about them, things like their first and last name, profile picture and general information that common place dating people share.  Be sure to check online if the profile picture they used is truly theirs and not copied from Google.  Always run a check on their name and see if they are what they say they are.

In today’s open world, someone can only be completely anonymous by design.  Run all the checks that good common sense would call for and when all is said and done, go with your gut feeling. If you are uneasy about meeting them, don’t!

These are just some tips that can go a long way in making sure that you stay safe while dating online. It is a great deal of fun, don’t let all this deter you from trying it out.

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