As we date online, we don’t really think about our safety. All that we’re focused on is finding the person who is destined for us. There’s nothing wrong with doing this, of course, but if we’re too caught up on just finding love, we lose sight of what we need to do to protect ourselves and our information.
Yes, it’s true that we can be at risk every time we date through the internet. However, you don’t have to worry about these dangers if you know how to keep yourself safe.
So, the question that’s probably in your mind is: “How can you keep yourself safe while meeting new people online?”
Consider these tips:
It’s essential for you to choose the right dating site. As you narrow down your choices, you don’t want to sign up with a site that’s just popular or already has a lot of online daters on their platform. You want to pick an online dating website that has a good privacy and protection policy.
How can I check this?
Trusted websites will make their security and privacy policies visible to both existing and potential members. From their front page, you should be able to find these statements easily.
Review the terms stated. Ideally, you’d want their policies to say that the online dating site:
Because we’re so excited about meeting the right person or meeting an attractive person at that, we usually don’t notice any red flags. We all need to practice better awareness in this situation. Some of the bad signs we should watch out for are:
Search engines are so useful! Did you know that you can actually double check the messages that people send you?
Usually, scammers send potential victims copy-pasted messages. Most of these messages have already been posted in forums or on other websites. When you do a quick Google search, you might find one or two of these messages already posted somewhere else.
Another way you can use Google is by checking certain information like your potential date’s name. Everyone has social media these days, and a person who says that he or she is not on any of them might be a bad sign.
A video call is one way to quickly confirm the identity of the person you just met online. If you want to do a video call and the other person is always making excuses like their cam is broken, the internet connection is not good, and so on then, it’s a cause for worry.
Everyone can make grammar mistakes, especially those who do not speak English as their first language. However, scammers usually pretend to be someone they’re not. For example, some scammers will pretend to be a beautiful woman or handsome man from the US, then bait you through words.
Aside from the above tips, there are cardinal sins that you should never commit if you want to protect yourself and your information as you date online. If you follow these three major rules, you’re increasing your chances of staying safe by a huge percentage:
Scammers are getting craftier every year. To get into your computer or laptop, they will send you carefully crafted messages or emails that will make you click on a link. For example, they will copy the exact email format of your bank and tell you that you have to reset your password. To do so, you have to click on the link.
Scammers may also tell you, “Is this you in the video? I have never seen you do anything like this!” This statement will alarm you and then make you click on the link right below the sentence.
Scammers will tell you anything to get you to give out your money. For example, the scammer will pretend to be a person in distress, and you’re the only person who can help. He or she will tell you that someone from the family is critically ill and that you need to send money because there’s no one else that can help. Never send your money in this situation.
As you may have heard, there are plenty of schemes online that will unknowingly force you to give out your credit card number or personal information. Just like how scammers compose carefully crafted email with links, they can also send you forms or give you calls, saying that they have to verify your identity through your credit card number or date of birth and address.
You should always practice awareness when you are dating online. Typically, if you have encountered one red flag or two, your gut is going to tell you that something is wrong. Your gut won’t be accurate all the time, but it’s better to listen to it than be sorry later. Check information through Google, always sign up to reputable dating sites, never send money to someone you just met, and always make sure never to give out your card numbers or address.
If you want to know more about safe online dating, you can check other posts on the blog.