Online dating is one of the most rapidly growing areas of the Internet, but before you go signing up with as many dating sites as you can find, you should know they are not all created equal. In order to have the safest, most pleasant online dating experience possible, you need to do a little homework first.
Find and read reviews of the site you’re interested in. If they offer a trial membership, use it to see how you feel about the site once you’re inside.
“Don’t trust everyone you meet”
You may like the fact that you have a certain amount of anonymity on a dating site, but always remember that so does everyone else. Before you start telling all your secrets and sharing your deepest feelings, get to know a person first.
If the site you’re considering doesn’t have at least one method of verifying identification, I’d continue looking for one that does. The more reputable sites tend to have more than one technique they use to make certain their members are who they say they are.
Most of these are paid sites and use a member’s credit card for ID verification. Some use software programs to verify several statistics, including age, address, criminal history and even whether they’ve ever been convicted of a sex offense. Remember though, the one ultimately responsible for your safety is you. Even though good dating sites do all they can to protect their members, always use your own good common sense with every decision you make.
“If you feel like you’re starring in Fatal Attraction…”
Before you hit the submit button on a dating site application screen, be sure you’ve checked to see that they have a way to deal with unwanted contacts. This is usually a simple fix, often just a click of a button that blocks someone from sending any correspondence to you and most site have this feature. What you want to look for is a way of contacting the administrators in case for some reason the ‘block’ button doesn’t do the job. This is a good example of why you should get to know a person before you start giving out personal contact information.
“Tips for a Safer Singles Dating Experience-Online and Off”
The majority of people who make up an online dating site are just regular folks, like you and me, looking for someone special to share their interests with. Unfortunately, even with their protective filters in place, dating sites can have a bad apple or two in the barrel. Use the following 5 tips to increase your safety, online and offline.
- Your public profile should not contain any personal contact information such as phone number or address.
- If you’re not ready to take the conversation to the next level, don’t let anyone coerce you into doing so. Don’t meet someone face to face until you feel comfortable about it.
- Your first couple of meetings should take place in public places. Someone close to you should know where you’re going and with whom and you should call them when you’ve arrived back at home.
- Put a limit on the length of time the first meeting should last. If things aren’t working well, you know you have an exit coming.
- For the first date, agree to meet somewhere public and drive your own car. There’ll be time later if all goes well to be picked up at home.
NEVER, EVER do anything you’re not comfortable doing, at any stage of the relationship. Let your common sense guide you, your inner voice counsel you and your gut feeling dictate your decisions.