Online Dating Safety Tips

Internet Dating Safety Tips

Online dating is likely to be a far safer environment to date in and provide you with a relaxed environment from which you can find a new partner or friends. Don't just think that the tips on this page apply to dating online because many of them should also be applied to traditional dating methods as well. It is important to remember with a little care and common sense your experience of internet dating will be a good one.

It is important to remember that your chances of finding the perfect date are greatly improved by using our variety of online dating sites, all of our sites are for members of the UK and Ireland and many offer opportunities to find a date in other countries too. Online dating sites are primarily made up of good, decent people who, like you, are just looking to find new friends or that special somebody.

So, do take our dating safety tips on board but don't let them frighten you off of finding new partner online because the chances are you will probably never have cause to worry.

How To Keep Your Online Dating Experience a Safe One.

The overriding themes here are care, common sense and intuition. The list of dating safety tips below is not conclusive, but it will give pointers to the most common things that you should consider when looking for a date online. In addition many of these safety tips should be applied if you have decided to use traditional methods for finding a date instead of using any of our UK dating sites or other internet dating sites.

Keeping Yourself Safe When Dating Online

Use Free Email Accounts When Using Online Dating Sites

There are no shortage of companies who offer free email addresses now which means that there is no excuse for not signing up to at least one of them. The three most common of these are Yahoo, Microsoft Hotmail and Google Gmail, but there are others as previously mentioned. When you are dating online ensure that you sign up for a free email address because this will help preserve your anonymity and keep you safe from unwanted emails later on.

When you decide on your email address never include your last name, only your first name or an alias should be used. For example if your name was Betty Crocker it would be better to use betty0101, simplydelicious01 or some other relatively anonymous account name than bettycrocker01 for example. The biggest benefit of having a free email address is that if any potential dates become a nuisance you can delete your free email account without it affecting the contact you would normally have with family and friends.

In addition it may be that you want to keep your online dating experience private from family and friends either out of necessity or because you feel uncomfortable telling them, this will be easier to do if you check your emails online rather than having them download onto your computer.

Protect Your Anonymity When Dating Online By Never Sharing Personal Information,

All of the internet dating sites we run at the Internet Dating Network, whether they are UK dating sites or otherwise are partnered with online dating experts dedicated to keeping your details private. However in addition to the extreme measures that we use to keep your identity safe it is important that you take some responsibility for your privacy too.

As previously mentioned when discussing the free email accounts, never use a full name in any communications that you have with potential dates and if asked don't give it. We are sure that your potential date will respect your decisions regarding your safety, if they don't then they may not be worth pursuing. In addition to this ensure that you keep all other identifying details private, details such as address, telephone number, place of work etc should not be given until you are comfortable that you want to form a relationship. You should probably meet them one or even more times before you should divulge any of your personal information.

Remember that when you set up your account with an online dating service there are many that prefer you not to use a nickname but only allow you to enter your first name, this is a definitely a preferable method as nicknames can be impersonal.

Always Ask For A Recent Photo

All of the online dating sites that we run will provide you with the facility to include recent photos, whilst there is no guarantee that a photo is actually of the person, or even recent, it does give you a good indication. It will help you to verify whether people are being entirely honest about their appearance.

If when asked to send a photo a potential date refuses, or comes up with excuses as to why they cannot, then it is probably best to cease communication with them and move on to somebody else.

To Begin With Do Not Offer 100% Trust

As previously mentioned, the vast majority of people using online dating sites are honest decent people looking for a date or new friends, but just because that is the case for most of the time does not mean you should not exercise care when offering your trust.

The same anonymity that is used to protect you can be used by some unscrupulous people to give themselves a different identity. They may not be the age or weight they say, the slim single 30 year old male could be a married 50 year old male with a weight problem. They may tell you that they are an airline pilot working for British Airways when actually they unemployed.

However, remember that not all lies make them evil, it may just be that they are embarrassed about their situation and think you won't like them if they tell you, but it is always important to start a relationship on honesty so just use your intuition and be wary.

The long and short of it is that things may not always be as they seem so exercise prudence and withhold a little of that trust for a later date when it has been earned.

Always Trust Your Intuition

Intuition is that gut feeling you get when you meet somebody for the first time either in person or via electronic methods, there is no guarantee that it will always be correct but it is a good place to start. Ultimately when you are considering your safety don't worry if your intuition upsets the other person because you feel the need to cease communication with them. Your safety is always paramount so if you feel uncomfortable end things before they begin.

Always read between the lines and do not take emails at face value also ensure that you remember what they have said before in previous communications. If things they say or write do not match your beliefs or if their storylines are inconsistent and there are unanswered holes in their story or even if you just don't feel right then move on to the next person. Online dating like all other forms, require that you take it slowly and take your time to find the right person, not the wrong one faster.

Report Any Concerns To The Customer Service At Your Online Dating Site

If you have any concerns whatsoever with your online dating experience speak to the customer support team they will hopefully be able to put your fears to rest quickly or help you with them if there is an area for concern.

Always Take Things Slow

When using internet dating sites, take things slow, remember just because it is easier and quicker to meet somebody online it doesn't mean that you have to take it to the next level right away.

It is important when dating somebody online that you always give yourself time to get to know them the best that you can. This will give you a better opportunity to see whether this is a person that you think you would like to meet up and also will give you the time to see if they are being 100% straight with you. If they aren't this should become apparent with more time as lies are much more difficult to maintain over a longer period so inconsistencies in storylines will become more apparent.

Never be afraid to ask for proof of a storyline that worries you, trust should be as important to potential dates as it is to you and if you don't feel that you can trust them you are best to quit whilst you are ahead. Remember if they are genuine, they will understand your concerns and will not mind trying to offer you the evidence to make you feel comfortable. If they aren't prepared to do this then it is probably best to break off contact, you will have have lost nothing and can move on to the next person.

Talk To An Online Date On The Phone

When you feel ready to progress beyond the emails, Instant Messaging (IM) or chat rooms you should talk to each other on the phone. You could both feel uncomfortable about giving phone numbers so remember these guidelines. Never give your personal home phone number to your potential date, it is too easy to go online and discover where you live from a home telephone number. It is preferable and more secure to make initial contact either from a mobile phone or from a public telephone.

Only when you have met each other enough times for you to feel comfortable that they are who they say they are should you give your telephone details.

Meeting For The First Time

These safety tips should apply to your meeting irrespective of whether dating via a traditional method or via an online dating site.

Choose a Location Wisely

The beauty and huge benefit of online dating is that you can move to the next level with a potential date only when you want to. Over a period of time you will probably want to meet with the person with whom you have started to feel comfortable, don't let this comfort lull you into a false sense of security.

You should use this benefit to your advantage. Because this is not a chance meeting it means you can choose a safe place to meet, always opt for a busy public location such as a high street cafe and arrange to meet them there.

Tell a Friend Where You Are Going

You should always tell a friend that you can trust where and when you are going, it may be that you could take them with you and have them sit somewhere else in the cafe to keep an eye on you if it would make you feel more comfortable. The first time you meet you will be sure to have a gut feeling about your date so trust your instincts and if you have doubts whatsoever you should make your excuses and leave.

Drive Yourself To Your Encounter

Never accept a lift, you remember what you were told as a child, "don't accept lifts from strangers" well this person is still a stranger, so until you know them better make your own arrangements to get there and back, it is good if you can drive yourself as you can easily leave whenever you want to.

Avoid Alcohol All Together or Limit It

Initially it is probably better to avoid alcohol, this is easily done if you have driven yourself there. Alcohol can impair your judgment and make it more easy to be taken advantage of, also it means that you may not be on your best guard.

Never Leave Drinks Unattended

Never leave drinks unattended as people can always slip something into your drink. This is a rule for anytime, not just a first date, always leave somebody you trust to guard your drink if you have to go to the toilet, if not then take it with you.

Never Give Your Address

This is a good rule to remember on a first date, the same is true if you have travelled outside of your area and are staying in a hotel, do not disclose the information.

Always Be Careful But Remember Dating Is Fun

Remember, all of the safety tips we have given you are to protect you from getting into trouble, not to stop you from having a good time with your date.

Whichever one of our dating sites you are a member of remember that the majority of people dating online are kind friendly people with whom you will no doubt become friends or lovers and have many good times ahead to look forward to.