Is Online Dating Safe? 7 Safety Tips To Practice Online and "Offline"

Published: 03rd October 2005
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Online dating usually makes people more cautious about who they choose to date and in this day and age that can't be a bad thing!

How many times have you been in a bar/club and given your telephone number to someone you know very little about?

With online dating you can take as long as you want getting to know and trust someone via anonymous messaging. You date at your pace and you never have to reveal any personal details about yourself unless you wish to do so.

If you you're thinking of joining an online dating agency or have already joined, be sure to practice safety guidelines.

Here are some dating tips to practice online followed by some "offline" dating tips should you decide to meet someone.

Online dating

1. Do not include any personal information in your profile, e.g. your home address, workplace address, email address or telephone number. Reputable dating sites make safety paramount so that their members can be part of a safe online dating environment and any personal information given in your profile will automatically be deleted.

2. Take your time getting to know someone online before revealing any personal information about yourself and before arranging to meet him or her. Take advantage of anonymous messaging facilities.

3. Don't lie in your profile or fake your photograph. Remember, honesty really is the best policy so if you are serious about meeting someone genuine, be yourself.

4. It is a good idea to set up a free email account like Hotmail. This way you do not have use your main personal email address in the event that you no longer wish to have contact with a member.

5. Be careful if you think a member is lying to you. Beware of someone who:-

-Pressurises you to meet instantly.

-Pressurises you for your personal contact information when they won't provide

personal information about themselves.

-Is inconsistent with information about their age, marital status, employment etc.

-Avoids answering reasonable questions directly.

-Contradicts information shown on their profile or which they have previously told you.

6. Don't be afraid to flirt a little if that's how you feel but equally don't be too flirtatious as it could be taken the wrong way. Never talk about sex or imply this is what you are looking for.

7. If someone is making you feel uncomfortable stop emailing him or her. Again, most reputable dating sites provide facilities for you to instantly block messages from a member who becomes a nuisance.

"Offline" dating

1. If you decide you would like to meet someone "offline" only pass on minimal information to begin with. Start with your email address then mobile telephone number. Both of these can be changed easily if necessary.

2. If you telephone another member use the blocking feature to prevent your number appearing on Caller ID.

3. If you arrange to meet someone, always ensure it is in a public place and preferably in daylight for the first meeting. Do not arrange any initial meetings at your home and never invite them into your home until you feel ready to do so.

4. Always let someone else know who you are going to meet, where you are going and what time you should be back home.

5. Take your mobile phone with you and keep it switched on.

6. Don't drink too much and never leave your drink unattended – keep your wits about you!

7. Take enough money for a taxi home and don't accept a lift home with your date even if you they appear to be great person.

Finally, be sensible and trust your instincts – they are usually right!

Alison Edwards runs a UK based dating sit where safety is paramount.

Registration is free.

For Snappy Results – try SnappyDates!

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