Indeed, dating websites have provided singles with a fresh and easy method to meet others. However, with this ease of use comes a slew of new concerns, chief among them safety. Interacting with strangers online, for example, can expose you to identity theft, email phishing, stalking, catfishing, and other scams.
Whether you’re new to online dating or a seasoned pro, knowing what dating sites have to offer, such as how frequently they’re used, how others perceive them, and even how honest people are when creating their accounts, might assist.
It may come as no surprise to some that people lie when they create online dating profiles. According to a survey performed by the worldwide research organization Opinion Matters, a stunning 53% of Americans utter small white lies while creating their internet identities. In general, women claim to be leaner by posting younger images of themselves.
While you are never to blame if someone acts predatorily or disrespectfully toward you in the online dating realm, there are some precautions you can take to keep yourself safe. Here are some essential safety suggestions you can put into action right away to help you be more alert.
Use a unique profile photo
Avoid using the same picture on your dating profile that you have on your social media profiles. If you use the same photo for your Facebook photo or Instagram page, it is really simple for someone to run a reverse image search using Google. As a result, if you use the same photo across all of your social media sites, it is much easier for someone to find you.
Guard your personal information
Make sure you don’t include your last name, contact information, or social networking handles while creating your online dating profile. You want to keep personal information to a minimum. After all, if you come across someone who is a little strange, you don’t want them to know too much about you.
To add an extra layer of security, you could choose to enhance the security on your social network accounts. For example, on Facebook, set up your page such that everything is private and only “Friends,” not “Friends of Friends,” may see it.
Reject any requests for money
Sending money or sharing financial information is never a good idea. Even if the person claims to be in an emergency, never provide money, especially by wire transfer. Wiring money is similar to sending cash in that it’s practically hard to undo the transaction or track down where the funds went. Never give out any information that could be exploited to gain access to your bank account.
Keep conversations on the dating website
When messaging a possible date, it’s better to do so within the dating website. Although it may be inconvenient, you won’t have to worry if anything doesn’t work out because the person has your phone number.
Furthermore, being on the website provides you with an extra layer of protection. Most dating services remove suspicious people’s profiles promptly and employ various algorithms to safeguard you from being scammed.
Avoid associating with suspicious profiles.
If the person who contacted you has no bio and has only posted one picture, it is possible that the account is a forgery. If you choose to connect with someone about whom you know very little, you should proceed with caution.
Do some investigation
Check out your potential date on social media. If you know your match’s social media handle or name, or if you have mutual connections online, search them up to make sure they aren’t “catfishing” you by creating a phony social media account to establish their dating profile.
Create a separate Google phone number
You’ll eventually want to talk on the phone with someone you met on a dating service. Consider acquiring a Google phone number and forwarding it to your phone instead of handing people your cell phone number. It’s not difficult to set up. Once you’ve logged in to Google Voice, all you have to do is select your area code and an available phone number.
Block and report suspicious users
If you think a user’s profile is suspicious or they have acted inappropriately toward you, you can block and report them. People can always misrepresent themselves in personal interaction, just as they can in any other. Trust your feelings regarding whether or not someone is being true in their representation of themselves.
The following is a collection of frequent stories or suspicious actions that scammers may use to gain confidence and sympathy in order to manipulate another user:
- requests financial assistance in any form;
- overly complimentary and romantic too early in your communication;
- although claiming to be from one country, she is currently residing, working, or traveling in another country;
- she claims to have recently been widowed and has children;
- she suddenly vanishes off the web, only to reappearance under a new identity;
- answers questions in a hazy manner;
- attempts to persuade you to reveal your phone number or to communicate with you outside of the dating site;
- tells stories that are contradictory or exaggerated.