Stay Safe When Dating Online
Staying safe when dating online has become easier than ever with enhanced privacy settings and security measures used with popular online dating communities. Before scheduling dates or sharing personal information with others online, there are a few tips to keep in mind to ensure your experience goes as smooth as possible whether you are seeking casual connections or a long-term romantic relationship.
How to Set Up An Online Dating Profile
Setting up an online dating profile is simple and often only requires your name, a photo, and a valid email address. While many online dating communities are free for both men and women, there are also premium solutions that require a monthly fee in order to become a member and begin browsing for potential matches. Research each dating community you are interested in joining to compare features while reviewing the monthly cost for services that are offered before making a decision that is fitting for your dating goals.
Red Flags to Look Out For Online
Dating scams are also extremely common within any type of dating site available today. Knowing how to pinpoint dating scammers is essential to avoid the risk of divulging personal or financially-sensitive information to scammers who are interested in stealing from you or participating in identity theft. Some of the most common red flags to look for when talking with a scammer include:
- The inability to hold a lengthy conversation where English is the first language used.
- Scammers often inquire about personal details such as full names, banking information, and specific locations.
- Being asked to provide funds or financial assistance is also a red flag when talking to others using dating sites, especially as scammers are in the business of stealing funds from unsuspecting individuals.
- Unrealistic promises of a perfect future together without ever having met the individual you are talking with before.
Additionally, it is important to remain safe from potentially dangerous or harmful individuals when chatting online. Steer clear of dates who present red flags such as:
- Rudeness - When an individual communicates rudely to you, avoid spending more time getting to know them as they are likely utilizing manipulative techniques to build an ongoing rapport with you. Rudeness is common online, but does not excuse the behavior, especially when you are searching for a romantic or long-term partner.
- Insults - Avoid communicating with users who hurl insults towards you, even passive aggressively when using dating websites. Instead, immediately block and report users who insult or harass you to prevent their behavior from spreading to other users on the site.
- Being Overly-persistent - Overly-persistent behavior, when chatting or solidifying plans, can quickly become a red flag. An individual who respects you will also respect unwritten social boundaries when getting to know you. Avoid moving forward with making plans with individuals who are extremely persistent, pushy, and unaware of the pressure they are putting on you before you have even met for the first time.
- Making you feel uncomfortable - When you feel uncomfortable or uneasy for any reason while speaking to another individual on a dating site, steer clear of moving forward with future plans together. Feeling uneasy or uncomfortable is never a good sign when you are getting to know someone and when you are contemplating meeting up with one another.
- Lying - Individuals are who they present themselves as online until meeting them in person and getting to know them better. Do not spend time chatting with others who continuously lie to you or have lied in the past to manipulate your relationship. Lying at the beginning of a relationship (whether platonic or romantic) is only likely to get worse as time goes on.
Popular Online Dating Websites
Plenty of Fish is one of the most popular and well-known free online dating sites for both men and women. The Plenty Fish dating site boasts millions of members and allows anyone to create a profile for free within minutes of registering as a verified community member.
OkCupid is another free online dating site that works in favor of both men and women. Signing up for OkCupid is free of charge for traditional services, but it is possible to invest in premium services for more results and communication opportunities. OkCupid is available for individuals of all ages, but often skews to a younger audience ranging from 18-35.
Match and eHarmony are also well-known dating sites used by millions of singles from around the world. While Match and eHarmony are extremely popular, they do not currently offer free memberships, requiring all users to pay a monthly or annual fee to join. Match and eHarmony promote their paid platforms by promising only users who have a genuine interest in making connections and seeking partnerships, eliminating users who are not active or persistent in meeting new people.
Learn more about individual dating sites and communities you are interested in before signing up to become a member yourself. Spend time researching dating communities and the best methods of communication to truly connect with others online. With a clear understanding of how dating websites and online dating scams work, steer clear of trouble and red flags while making the most out of your time connecting with potential friends and future partners.