You may remember the post I wrote about my friend who was killed while on a first date with someone she met online. She followed the recommended precautions – she arranged for a day date in a public place. In spite of her doing things the way she should, things still went terribly wrong. her death was tragic, senseless and it has forever impacted the lives of everyone she knew. I felt it was important to share these online dating safety tips with you, even if they can save just one life.
Safety tips for people searching for a partner online
Dating these days can be tricky, and many people tend to turn to the internet to find a date. If you are trying to find a new partner online, you may also be worried about worst-case scenarios. It is fair to be worried and wise to be informed of the dangers and learning about the steps you can take to potentially protect yourself. Here are a few safety tips for people searching for a partner online.
Do a Search On Yourself
Yes, we’re recommending that you do an internet search on yourself. Find out what other people will see when they search about you. You may need to delete accounts or take steps to remove your personal information before you put up a profile on a dating site. You also want to deal with any fake profiles set up in your name that hurt your reputation. These might be set up by a vindictive ex or someone who simply wants to hurt you.
Protect Your Privacy
Don’t give someone your full name until you’ve gotten to know them better. That limits their ability to look up your address and phone number unless and until you choose to give it to them. If you have children, you can mention that, but don’t put too much personally identifiable information in your profile. For example, don’t tell them who you work for or about your volunteer activities at your children’s school.
Be careful not to use the same handle on dating sites as you use on other social media profiles. Otherwise, they’ll be able to search for your screen name and see everything you post everywhere else. Set your Facebook and other social media profiles as private to limit what someone might be able to find when they do an internet search using your name or profile handle.
You can continue to protect your privacy when you’re ready to get in touch. Get a Google voice phone number. This will work like a regular phone number for calls and texts, but you aren’t giving them your cell phone number. Then it is easy to cut them off if necessary.
Do Your Research Regarding Potential Meetups
Something worth considering is running a background check before you meet someone in person. You can search federal records using publicrecordsreviews.com. All you need is a first name and last name to get started. You can improve the odds you’re looking at the right records by entering the state they live in. Their service will allow you to get information on things such as sexual offenses, misdemeanors, and information on legal procedures. They also review some of the best background check services online and give you a rundown of some of the features, and what kind of information they allow you to search.
Another thing you should do is try to get their address. You might not be able to get this information on your first date, but there are some things that you can do to get it later on. You could get this by offering to mail them a gift for instance. This will not only give you more information so you can conduct an even more thorough background check, but you can make sure that they are who they say they are.
Meet in a Public Place
If you’re ready to meet someone, do so in a public place. It could be a coffee shop or restaurant, a concert or a museum. Avoid meeting at a bar, since you might end up impaired and say something that you’re not ready to share. Nor should you go to an isolated place with someone you just met. This means you can go to dinner and a movie, but don’t go for a walk on the beach afterward.
Arrange your own transportation, too, so that you can leave if and when you want. And remember that you have the right to leave whenever you are uncomfortable. In fact, you should trust your gut. Cut it short or cancel events if something feels off. Don’t offer to pick them up if they don’t have their own transportation – make sure they meet you somewhere.
Consider getting an app like Life Family 360 or something similar and sharing your location with only your family or close friends ahead of time, so they can find you quickly if need be.
Set Limits and Stick to Them
There are no real rules when it comes to dating, but you can set your own. Don’t let someone feel entitled to sex because they took you out. Don’t let someone pressure you for sex on the third date. It is reasonable to ask for someone to be tested for STDs before having sex. Furthermore, you should break it off if someone pressures you to do something that you’re uncomfortable with, no matter what the request is. Don’t give in on little things that you don’t want to do, because that will lead to greater demands.
Dating safety is a serious concern, but there are steps you can take to increase your chances of staying safe. Please also share these safety tips for people searching for a partner online. And make sure you also remember to follow our tips so that you can enjoy your nights out and hopefully find the love of your life!