Date Safety 101...
Posted 9:00pm, 18 Jan 2017
Most people using dating sites are honest and sincere with the information they provide and in their reasons for joining up.
However, there are nutters out there...
And you need to be aware of how to keep yourself safe while meeting people online.
Stalking and harassment.
Fraud, when people appeal to your better nature to help them out of an 'unfortunate situation' by sending money.
People pretending they are somebody they are not.
Spam and more spam. Crazies selling stuff and manipulating in all number of ways to get their dirty hands on your hard earned money.
Webcam blackmail, fraudsters record things you may do in front of your webcam then use the recording to extort money from you.
(If you wouldn't do it in front of your grandma - don't record it and don't take a picture.
Pishing emails claiming to be from an online dating site and encouraging you to give out personal information. Don't do it.
Being defrauded by using websites posing as authentic dating sites. If it looks dodgy, it probably is.
Potential theft of your money if you do not use a secure link when making payments. (Look for 'https')
Creating your online dating profile, protect yourself.. and your personal information
- Pick a user ID that doesn’t let everyone know who you are. Leave out your surname, place of work etc. In your profile AND when you first make contact keep your personal information to yourself until a second/third date.
- Remember that overtly sexual, provocative or controversial usernames could attract the wrong kind of attention.
- Keep contact details private. Don't give your away contact information such as your email address, home address, or phone number in your profile or initial communications. Relax and take it slow. Share more information when you feel comfortable doing so. It's like adding chili to your curry, It is impossible to get it back once you have dished it out.
- Tune in to your intuition, stop communicating with anyone who attempts to pressure you into providing your personal or financial information or who seems to be trying to trick you into providing it. If this happens contact the dating provider immediately to not only protect yourself but other users too.
Password & Security
- Be careful when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others can't view or record your password or personal information.
- Be wary of opening email attachments from someone you have only just met
- Ensure that you keep your internet security software up to date.
Connecting With New People Online
Get to know people, take your time and trust your instincts.
Act with caution and learn more about someone before contacting him or her outside of the dating site.
Dating services run mail and chat so you can get to know people in a safer and [monitored/controlled] way.
They do it to protect you, not to make money. Use these platform's and the added security they give. If and when you do decide to share an e-mail address think about creating a separate and anonymous email address. It's super easy and free. Why not?
Take Your Time
Sometimes when you're excited about someone, your instincts can be confused by LUST.
Take care and take your time.
You don’t need to tell your life-story the first time you chat – and you shouldn’t.
If you really like each other, there will be plenty of time to share the details. Also, ask heaps of questions, 'seek first to understand and to then be understood' a good general life rule that one!
Be Responsible and do your Research
There is a limit to an online dating provider’s ability to check the backgrounds of users and verify the information.
They cannot do a police check on every user. And a person can be a nut case without having a criminal record. SO, don't get a false sense of security because you're on a dating site; do your own research or hire a service such as https://www.aste.io/ they are awesome and take care of the social media stalking and all sorts of other research on your behalf!
Money Requests Are a HUGE red flag...
It may seem obvious and I hope it does.. But. ALWAYS keep your bank and account information private.
Stop all contact immediately and report anyone who tries to get this info from you.
Report Behaviour that Makes you Cringe..
No, you should NOT have to put up with offensive, insulting and threatening people online OR in real life. Trust your instincts and stop talking to anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable or apprehensive.
Never feel embarrassed to report a problem to a dating service. You are helping them and doing other users a favour. Its never a good look for a business to be hosting creeps!
Play it safe when you meet face-to-face
Be smart and stay safe. Going on a date is (or should be) an exciting occasion, but continue to be careful.
Even if you feel you have become pretty close to someone using phone and email, remember, this person is ultimately still a stranger to you. They could easily be ten years older and look nothing like their profile.
Therefore it is important that when meeting someone in person, (whether it is your first date or not), take precautions and consider these dos and don'ts.
1. Plan well..
It’s your date.
Agree on what you both expect from the experience (in general terms) before you meet up.
Don’t feel pressured to meet, don't feel pressured to stay for longer than you want, and leave on your terms!
Short really can be sweet.
2. Keep things public..
The safest plan is to meet in public and stay in public.
Make your own way to the location and back. Don’t feel pressured to go home with your date!
If you feel ready to move to a more private environment, make sure your expectations match those of your date’s.
3. Get to know the person, rather than the profile
The way people interact online isn’t always the same face-to-face.
People get shy and sometimes have insecurity, and fears of their own.
Don’t be offended if your date is more guarded when meeting in person. or if things don’t progress as fast face-to-face.
4. Not feeling right? Make your excuses and leave.
Don’t feel bad about cutting a date short if you’re not keen. You don’t owe the other person anything, no matter how long you’ve been chatting or what’s been suggested.
5. If you’re raped or sexually assaulted on your date, help is available.
No matter what the circumstances, sexual activity against your will is a CRIME. Police and charities are here to help and support you. Google RAPE CRISIS and WOMANS REFUGE VICTIM SUPPORT for services in your area.
6. There are tools out there to keep you safe.
Join Verisafe and press "At Risk" when you meet someone you don't know from a bar of soap ;)