It does not come as a surprise when you read or hear about people being duped by scammers and identity thieves over the internet. And that leaves you with some level of wariness when you decide to use a dating site to find a partner for love, romance, and long-term relationships.
The truth is that when well over 40 million Americans use online dating sites and apps, it is only natural to find a few with bad experiences. And, quite interestingly, it is possible to lower the risk of being scammed by learning to keep safe online. Picking the most reputable local dating service will continue to be the key, but there are other safety precautions to take when using online dating.
Today, dating sites have come far and do not cut corners when providing a secure experience to their members. Some use third-party solutions for 3D verification, and others join hands with other companies to allot unique IDs for the security of their members. However, they still do not conduct criminal background checks on their users, and that means it is up to you to determine if a “potential” match is indeed the right option for you and if you should meet up with that person.
Ways to Enjoy Online Dating Safely
With so many new technologies available to users and many new software solutions being used by dating services, finding a partner online has become a lot safer. Still, remember the following tips to have some peace of mind while using a local dating service.
- Be careful about picking photos for your dating profile. Do not share your photos on your social media profiles because people can do a reverse image search and learn about your identity.
- Opt for a site where you can hide your profile photos from basic members and let VIP members check them. Also, take advantage of new tools that make it difficult for others to save your photos on their devices. You may even want to use “blur” tools for added privacy.
- Opt for a dating site where they require profile and photo verification before accepting anyone as a member.
- Be prepared to cough up some money and upgrade your membership if that allows you to use the “Full Safe” mode or helps you search anonymously.
- Never feel “obligated” to connect with profiles that look suspicious or feel too good to be true. Ignore a profile if there is no bio with only one picture.
- Take your time to get to know your potential date and use various modes of communication, including instant text messaging, direct chat, video chat, or voice calls.
- Never be too quick to share your personal info, such as your credit card details, social security number, home address, bank info, etc. You can get extra protection against identity fraud by using social security number monitoring services such as IDShield. Dating sites also do not send you messages asking for your login credentials, so do not share with anyone.
- Be prepared to take a while and block/report suspicious users. Do not just ignore them because your action will help keep the community clean and improve your dating experience as well.
No one can deny that online dating is exciting, but it can be pretty challenging to keep you safe, as some possible issues include stolen identities and hacking. These things could happen to anyone, and know that it is not your fault.
Be sure to do your research, educate yourself about being safe online, and learn to trust your instincts. If someone or something does not feel right, take the initiative and cut off communication. Do not worry if it feels rude, as your safety should be your priority, and if you are on a reputable dating site, you will have so many options to choose from, so you are going to find a better partner anyway.