Online Dating Tips & Safety Advice
When you create your online dating profile, protect your identity and your personal information.
• Choose a username that doesn’t let everyone know who you are. Make it random and anonymous. Do not include your surname or any other identifying information like as your place of work or company.
• Remember that overtly sexual, provocative or rude usernames could attract the wrong kind of attention.
• Keep your contact details private. Stay in control when it comes to how and when you share your information. Never include your contact information such as your email address, home address, or phone number in your profile or communications. Take things slowly and only share your information only when you are comfortable to do so. Ideally, once you've meant in person and are sure of the other person's identity. It is impossible to get back information once you have given it away.
• 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 giving them. If this happens contact the dating provider immediately to not only protect yourself but other users too.
Password & Security
• Take care when accessing your account from a public or shared computer so that others can't view or record your password or personal information.
• Be care when opening email attachments from someone you have only just met
• Make sure you keep your internet security software up-to-date.
Meeting new people online
Take the time to get to know people. Tust your instincts. Always act with caution and learn more about someone before contacting them outside of the dating site. Dating services run mail and chat so you can get to know people in a safer and controlled way. They do it to protect you, not to make money. Use their platform and the added security it gives. It's always advisable to share information once you have met face-to-face and you are confident they are who they say they are.
Take Your Time
Ocassionally when you're excited about meeting someone, your instincts can be confused by excitement and strong feelings. Take care and take your time when you talk about yourself. You don’t need to give out your whole life-story the first time you chat – and you shouldn’t. There will be plenty of time to share such details if your relationship develops.
Requests for money is a BIG red flag
Why would someone need to borrow money off somebody they have never met, or only just met? There is no reason for anyone to ask you for money or your financial information, whatever story they give you. Always keep your bank and account information private. Stop all contact and report the matter to the dating site.
Report all suspicious behaviour
- Nobody should have to put up with offensive, insulting and threatening behaviour online any more than they should or would if talking to someone in a bar or café. Trust your instincts and immediately stop communicating with anyone who makes you feel uncomfortable or apprehensive. Never feel embarrassed to report a problem to the dating service. You are helping them and doing other users a favour.
Meeting In Person
Be smart and stay safe. Going on a date with new person is always exciting but remember to be careful. Even if you feel you have become closer you should still remember that this person is still really a stranger to you. Therefore it is important that when meeting someone in person you take precautions and consider these dos and don'ts.
-Let friends or family members know where you're going and when you'll be home
- Let friends and family know the name of the person you are meeting and how to contact them
- Meet in a public place with lots of people around
- Use your own transportation to get to and from the date
- Keep and eye on your alcohol intake
- Keep your personal items with you
- Leave at any time if you feel uncomfortable
- Bring your mobile phone with you
- Arrange to contact a friend when the date is over
- Go on your date without telling anyone
- Meet at your home or the other person's home
- Allow your date to pick you up at your home or place of work
- Leave your drink unattended
- Leave your personal items unattended
- Feel pressured to stay or do anything you don't want to
- Go to a place where you can't contact anyone
Safety first. Never worry or feel embarrassed about your behaviour if you want to end a date. It is far more important to stay safe than the other person's opinion of you.