How to Be Safe in Online Dating

We get into online dating to find a friend, develop a relationship or maybe simply in search of a hot first date. But, what are the risks of dating via the internet and how can you be safe in online dating? First there is the online part and then there is meeting face to face. Once you publish your profile and meet a few people online remember that the online part is all about getting to know someone and choose whom to meet face to face. It is not about long term online relationships and especially not about financial relationships such as paying money to bring someone from offshore to meet you. Too often these are scams and have nothing to do with meeting the right person. A couple of years ago we wrote about how to date online and avoid being scammed.

We wrote recently about dating apps as a quicker approach to finding someone online. We also wrote about identity theft with dating apps. Now we would like to talk about how to date online and avoid being scammed. Using a dating app that is poorly programmed and allows someone to sneak into your cell phone undetected is a problem. But often times the problem is not in the code but in plain view. NBC published an article recently about how to avoid dating app scammers.

One in five Americans ages 25 to 34 have turned to online dating, according to the Pew Research Center. But digital security experts warn the convenience of online dating can also make consumers more vulnerable to online hackers. Some of these criminals have advanced cyberskills and now operate online, dating theft rings. The bad guys in these groups pretend to be singles looking for love, with the real intent of securing personal data, or getting victims to send cash.

Most dating fraud activity targeting Americans can be traced outside the U.S. to countries including Nigeria, Ghana and the Ivory Coast, according to fraud protection company iovation, which works with many online dating companies.

To protect yourself from an imperfect dating app read product reviews before buying and simply avoid any product that does not give assurances that their product is properly coded and safe to use.

And the bottom line if what your new friend online is saying or offering is too good to be true it is probably just that, too good to be true. Use common sense online.

How to Be Safe Face to Face

EHarmony published a blog from a dating coach full of online dating safety tips.

Meeting and building quick rapport is so easy online and lately I’ve noticed that women all too often let their guard down, lose their common sense or abandon their self-protection to a total stranger.

Here are the suggestions.

  • Meet in a public place
  • Tell a friend about your date
  • Drive yourself to and from the date
  • Stay sober

And our suggestion is to be willing to leave if the situation gets creepy or dangerous. After all the point of online dating is to have lots of choices so don’t settle for bad, creepy, dangerous or simply dumb when you can have better.

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