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New to Online Dating? Stay Safe Swiping With These Online Dating Safety Tips

Stay safe with these eleven online dating safety tips.

Online dating has become one of the most common ways to meet potential romantic partners. While online dating platforms offer convenience and a wider pool of potential connections, they also introduce unique safety considerations. To ensure a safe and positive online dating experience, it’s crucial to be aware of potential risks and implement effective safety measures. Stay aware, trust your instincts, and follow these online dating safety tips:

Safety Tip #1: Don’t Give Out Too Much Information

close up of linkedin page on smartphone screen
Don’t be surprised if they look at your LinkedIn.

Creating a strong online presence is essential for online dating, but it’s equally important to safeguard your personal information. Dating apps ask us about our profession, education, workplace—but did you know it’s easy to track someone down using just that information and your first name and location? Reconsider whether you need to put this information in your bio or photos, especially if you have an uncommon first name (your last name should generally not be on your profile.)

Safety Tip #2: Conduct Thorough Profile Reviews

Image of person holding a phone with an online dating app open

Before engaging with potential matches, take the time to carefully review their profiles. Look for inconsistencies, red flags, or suspicious information. Be wary of profiles with minimal information, generic photos, or excessive requests for personal information. Trust your instincts and avoid connecting with profiles that raise concerns. If you have mutual friends in common, ask them about the person.

Safety Tip #3: Use a Reverse Image Search

person using macbook air

To verify the authenticity of profile photos, consider using a reverse image search tool. These tools allow you to search the internet for instances of the same image, helping to identify potential scams or catfishers who may be using stolen photos.

Safety Tip #4: Avoid Financial Involvement

person holding debit card

Online dating should not involve financial transactions. Be wary of requests for money, gifts, or financial assistance. Scammers often target vulnerable individuals and may exploit emotional connections to manipulate them financially. No CashApp. No Venmo. And definitely no social security numbers.

Safety Tip #5: Report Suspicious Activity

person s hands

If you encounter any suspicious or harassing behavior on the dating platform, don’t hesitate to report it. They have measures in place to address such issues and protect users. Your report helps keep other people safe—it’s a team effort.

Safety Tip #6: Stay in Public Places for Initial Meetings

public place

When arranging in-person meetings, prioritize public and well-lit locations. Avoid meeting in secluded or private settings, such as the person’s house for dinner, especially for initial encounters. Inform a trusted friend or family member about your plans and let them know where you’ll be and when you expect to return.

Safety Tip #7: Maintain Control of Transportation

people walking on snowy road with bus on dark street

Always arrange your own transportation to and from dates. Avoid accepting rides from someone you haven’t met well. If they offer, be prepared to politely decline. If you plan to drink, use a ride-sharing service or public transportation to get home.

Safety Tip #8: Trust Your Gut Instincts

Pay attention to your instincts and feelings throughout the online dating process. If something feels off, wrong, or uncomfortable, don’t hesitate to disengage from the interaction. It’s better to err on the side of caution than risk your safety. Give yourself permission to be awkward rather than unsafe.

Safety Tip #9: Stay Sober Enough

assorted wine bottles at a bar

If at a date with drinks involved, resist the urge to drink until full drunkenness. You’re more able to quickly spot when things feel off when you’re not completely sloshed, and more able to quickly react appropriately in a situation when you feel unsafe.

Safety Tip #10: Don’t Ignore How You Felt

woman busy writing

If you look back and realize you felt unsafe or uneasy on the date in any way, don’t ignore those feelings. Don’t go on another date just to see if the unease persists— when it comes to safety, listen to your instincts.

Safety Tip #11: Seek Support When Needed

a person explaining something to a dating coach

If you experience any unpleasant or unsafe encounters online, don’t hesitate to seek support from trusted friends, family, or professional resources. Journal about how you feel. Talking or journaling about your experiences can help you process your emotions and make informed decisions about your online dating journey.

We hope these tips help you stay safe during your online dating journey. Stay safe, good luck and happy dating!

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