5 Tips on How to Stay Safe when ‘Dating Online’

Article about ways to improve your safety online whilst dating.

Dating Online can be a fun however a very dangerous experience for millions of people from around the world to meet each other. In 2019, the number of recorded sexual assaults that have involved online dating has almost doubled in the past 4 years, showing how dangerous the £2 billion industry is. Following the 17-year sentence given today to Grace Millane’s killer, of whom she met on Tinder, following these 5 tips will help to protect yourself again these anonymous strangers that you will interact with online.

1.MEET UP IN A PUBLIC PLACE

Meeting up with a person from online in a public place is definitely a must for a ‘first date’. You are surrounded by people, which allows protection, and discourages anything bad to happen as there are many in view of your situation, means you are less vulnerable to the person you are on the date with.

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2. TELL A FRIEND SPECIFIC DETAILS – LOCATION, TIME, PROFILE DETAILS ETC.

Make sure when you are deciding to go on a date with this online stranger that you tell 1 or 2 friends on where your date is set to take place, what time and give them a link to the person’s dating profile. By providing this you are protecting yourself and if your friend senses something is wrong, they know where you are. Also remember to text them at the beginning and end of your date to make sure you are alright.

3. DON’T OVERDRINK

Make sure you keep drinking to a minimum on the first date. The more you drink, the more vulnerable to the person you’re with and more easily persuaded to perhaps go somewhere else. Make sure your wits are about you and do what you want to do, not what they want you to do.

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4. DON’T ALLOW THEM TO WALK YOU HOME

Make sure when you are on the first date, walk or drive yourself to and from the date, or allow a friend/ family member to transport you. Don’t allow a stranger to straight away know where you live, due to the fact you don’t know them or what they are capable of. It is just a precaution for the first few dates, to protect yourself.

5. VERIFY THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNTS MATCH THEIR PROFILES AND DETAILS

Many dating apps including Tinder, allow you to link your social media to your accounts to provide identification and authenticity of your account. Make sure you can have access to your dates social media and check all the information on their dating profile matches their social media plus whatever they have told you. This will allow you to see if you feel as though you can trust them, and if there is any hesitation then maybe rethink whether they are really the person you want to meet up with.

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Many dating platforms have tried to enforce ways to make users feel safer with more protection when they need. TrueView has a method of having to build up a trust verification on each profile, allowing a more authentic dating website. Tinder is also enforcing a new method by adding in a panic button and anti-catfishing technology, which will include emergency assistance, location tracking and photo verification, providing a much more stable platform. Uber and AirBnb are also planning to bring in new safeguards over safety issue measures for all their customers. 

Although problems with Dating Online are serious, you should enjoy and be yourself and see who you manage to meet, there is always help when needed.

Written by Lucie Kyle