Rock climbing, roller coasters and online dating – they’re a whole bag of fun, excitement and adventure. And just like other thrill-seeking activities, certain precautions are needed to keep you safe. Stay sensible with these top safety tips for online dating.
Social Media Security
Once someone knows your full name, a little cyber stalking is inevitable. Give yourself a Google to find out what information is publicly available, and consider adjusting the privacy settings on your Facebook updates, both new and old.
It is possible for someone to drop your dating profile photo into Google’s image search function to look for other photos of you online, even if they do not have your full name. Lockdown social media accounts with your photos on so that only friends or followers you have approved can see them.
Once you’ve connected with someone on a dating site, think carefully before adding them as a friend on Facebook. They could learn a lot of information about you in a short period of time by exploring your past updates and photos (‘fess up, we’ve all done it).
Keep Personal Details To Yourself
There’s no need to tell a new match about the finer details of your personal life. Your date of birth, home address, and where you work can all wait until you are better acquainted. If you feel awkward withholding information, slightly alter the details by changing the day of the month you were born, or giving the name of your previous employer instead. .
Dating Account Security
Your online dating account needs to be kept secure from other website users, and well meaning friends. Choose a secure password to stop your account being hacked, something more secure than pet names and favourite bands, which will no doubt be revealed within the first online conversation you have with each potential match. Do not write your password down anywhere someone is likely to see it. The sense of decorum that prevents your loved ones hacking your email or online banking may not apply to what they see as a less serious matter. But your dating life is your business alone, and you don’t need their help or prying eyes interfering. Save them from themselves by ensuring they never see or guess your password.
Create a new email account exclusively for use with your free online dating accounts. This makes it much easier for you to take a break from the dating scene whenever you need to as your regular inbox won’t receive reminders and invites. It also means that in the unlikely event of a security breach on your account, this is the only email address linked to it.
Keep Messages On Site
Online dating sites have communication systems built into them to let you get to know the other singles. By keeping your communication on site you have the backup of site staff who can intervene if things turn ugly. Site administrators can take measures such as blocking someone from your profile, or even completely blocking them from the site if they are a repeat offender.
When you are ready to meet up, stick to these simple safety measures:
– Always meet in a public place
– If you must travel together use public transport or a taxi
– Tell a friend or family member where you are going and what time you will be back.
Never Send Money
There is no good reason for someone to ask you for money. No matter how convincing their story is, do not respond to requests for cash, cheques or bank details.
There’s a whole lot of fun to be had in the world of online dating, as long as you keep yourself safe with these simple precautions.