Online Dating: Safety

Online Dating is Great.  Just be Safe about it.

When chat rooms were first introduced more than 10 years ago, there were a lot of people being dishonest about who they were online.  Although we have come a long way since then, there are still some things you need to know about dating safely online.  Follow these online dating safety Do’s and Don’ts to ensure you have a safe and pleasant experience with online dating.

DO give out your phone number to someone you are interested in.

DON’T give out your home phone number.  This number can easily be traced back to your address, and you don’t want just anybody to have access to that.  You wouldn’t give your telephone number and home address to the guy in line behind you at the supermarket would you?

DO have your first meeting at a coffee house or other public venue.

DON’T accept your date’s offer to cook you dinner in his home on your first date.  While this is a very romantic notion, he is still a stranger.  Likewise, do not invite him to your house before you know him personally either.

DON’T accept your date’s offer to pick you up or drop you off at home.  Do not let him know where you live, until you know him well.

DO verify as much as you can about your match before meeting him.  In the age of the World Wide Web, it is a lot easier than you think.  If he claims that he works as the senior manager of a company, a simple Google search will confirm or deny that claim in minutes.  Look him up on Facebook and check out his profile before meeting him.  Make sure everything matches up.

DON’T add potential matches on Facebook before you meet them IF you are one of those people who posts very personal information on your Facebook page.  Keep your Facebook privacy settings at high, or limit what he can view.

DO ask to meet his friends early on.  It’s crazy, but some people make up a lot of interesting stories about themselves when they are behind the computer screen.  Hanging out with his friends will force him to be honest if he hasn’t been.

DON’T go on a weekend away with him until you’re really sure you know who he is, and that you can trust him.  Leaving the comforts of your city is a dangerous thing if you don’t know who you’re with.

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