The days of going to bars hoping to find that special someone are long over. Bar hopping and awkward getting-to-meet-someone scenarios have pretty much been completely replaced by online dating sites. There are several reasons online dating sites are so popular, including the following.
- They’re considerably less expensive than going to bars and ordering drinks night after night.
- Everyone you connect to via an online dating site is genuinely looking for someone.
- You can pursue potential love matches while sitting at home, in your pajamas, while gorging on ice cream.
- You can quickly reject anyone who doesn’t appeal to you simply by scrolling past. There’s no need to worry that you’re going to hurt their feelings or damage their self-confidence.
While there are many perks connected to online dating, there are also a few drawbacks. While most of the people who use the various dating sites are good people, a few predators do occasionally create accounts. The good news is that there are some things you can do to protect yourself while engaged in online dating.
Create a New Email
Do not use any email that you regularly correspond with. Create a brand new email account that isn’t linked to your personal data. Do not attach social media accounts, your address, or your phone number to this email address.
Get a Good VPN
VPNs are designed to protect your location while you’re using the internet. A good VPN makes it look like you’re in one country while you’re really in a different one that’s on the other side of the globe. A good VPN makes it very difficult for anyone you’re corresponding with to track you down. Make sure you have the VPN on whenever you’re using the online dating site or using the email connected to the dating site.
Make Your Photos Generic
Before uploading photos to your profile, carefully look over them and make sure that there’s nothing in them that could give clues to where you live or the places you routinely hang out.
Meet in Public and Drive Yourself
If you’ve connected with someone and think they are a potential match, make sure your first several meetings are in a public place and arrange for your own transportation.
Tell People Where You’re Going and Check-In with Them
The first few times you go out with an internet date, let one or two people you trust know where you’re going, who you’ll be with, and what you’ll be doing. You should also set a time when you’ll check back in with them and let them know how it’s going. If the date is going well and you decide to keep the experience going, let your check-in people know about the change. If the date changes venue at any point, share this information.
The best way to stay safe while engaged in online data is to trust your gut. If you get a funny feeling that the person you matched up with isn’t quite what they seem, you should immediately cut ties and look for a new potential match.