Safe Online Dating
by Nicole Weirich
Dating online can be a scary mysterious thing for many people. Of course you're going to be a little questionable of someone you meet online because how do you really know if they are who they say they are? Well here are some tips to assure your safety so you can make meeting people online fun!
1. Never give out your personal information online, or on the phone. You may have been talking to them forever and think they are the most honest and decent person, but you JUST NEVER KNOW. Hold off on giving out addresses and last names until you've actually met them and know they aren't crazy.
2. When and if you finally decide to meet someone in person make sure it is a VERY public place. Meet at a restaurant or a coffee shop. That way if you feel unsafe at any time, there are plenty of people around and you can leave easily. Also never leave with them, say your goodbye's there because you don't want to risk getting into a car with a stranger. Save that for a later date.
3. So you've gone on multiple dates and feel pretty comfortable, but realize you have never met a single friend or family member. Beware this is not good if they are keeping you from meeting anyone they know. They could possibly have dishonest motives for seeing you.
4. Try to avoid profiles without pictures. This is never a good sign. If you can't see who they are then how do you know whom you are talking to?
5. It is always a good idea to not only chat online with them often, but also talk on the phone. This way you get a sense of what they sound like and can better grasp who they are. If they refuse to speak on the phone with you after chatting for a long time online, then that is probably not a good sign, and you should probably not get involved with this person.
6. You might consider getting a background check on your date before you meet in person. Background checks do not offer any guarantees, but they should be able to identify the person's age, current and previous addresses, criminal records, and if they're married or not. These can be done online from sites like USA People Search or PeopleFinders.com, to name a couple.
Ultimately the key to successful and safe online dating is common sense. Your conscience will tell you whether or not it's a good idea to meet them. So just listen to your head, and happy dating!
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