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Finding Love

Online Dating: The Less You Share, The Safer You Are

This is a new era where you can order your groceries online and have them delivered, you can find your entire line of ancestors all around the globe with the click of the mouse, or you can find your soul mate across the country or down the street through an online database. Notice something about those 3 things? That’s right, they’re all online! Now that everything takes place online, it’s no surprise that online dating has taken the world by storm. Unfortunately, this can pose a serious danger to some online daters if they’re not careful.

If you engage in online dating, you may have a newfound hope for the future—and we’re not here to discount the possibility of finding true love online. However, it’s important to be smart about your online dating habits, as too many people have gotten into less-than-desirable scenarios that wind up jeopardizing their safety. Finding the “right one” online requires some specific guidelines for safety, including not divulging too much private information about yourself. Here are some tips for safe online practices:

Report Questionable Behavior and Profiles

Too many people have been conned and duped by fake online profiles where people claim to be someone or something they’re not. Even worse, individuals have used their online dating profile as a predatory tactic to lure in dating hopefuls to engage in what become abusive, controlling relationships. If you notice any suspicious online dater profiles, it’s important to report them to the appropriate authorities—especially if you’re concerned for your safety or the safety of others.

Keep Your Privacy

These days privacy might seem to be a thing of the past, as our lives are proudly displayed online for all to see. Unfortunately, when our lives are so visible for others to witness, the possibility for people to take advantage of usually private information becomes too accessible. It’s best to keep personal, identifying information to yourself when it comes to online dating.

Take Your Time

Getting to know others is a process that requires time and attention, and it’s no different for online relationships. It might see easier to develop a relationship quickly with another online dater because many of the social discomforts and inhibitions are lessened; however, keep in mind that it’s best to take your time and not rush the process—you might be pleasantly surprised or even learn more than you expected about the other person.

Plan Safe In-Person Meetings

This is one of the most important facets of online dating, as the online persona must eventually fade away as a new person arises face-to-face. Meeting your online love in person is the usual next step once you’ve developed an online connection with someone. For a face-to-face meeting, it’s important to: have an address of where you’re going and tell a few friends about it; meet in a public place; meet the other person there, don’t accept a ride from them; and stay in public view for most if not all of the date. While it’s likely that the other person is not attempting to kidnap you, it’s important to be cautious. You’ll never regret being overly cautious, but you might regret not using enough caution.

Look Into the Databases Security Policies

Before you enter your personal information on a dating site, it’s essential to look into the company’s privacy practices and how they handle security situations such as false profiles and predatory behavior like online stalking. When it comes to online dating, your site should practice good habits when it comes to maintaining the safety and security of their clients.

Online Dating

Utilize Background Checks

One of the best ways to verify that you’re speaking to a real person on the other end of the dating site is to perform a background check. It might seem awkward or uncomfortable at first, but online dating poses a unique challenge to individuals who are looking for a long-term commitment with another person. Here at Affordable Background Checks, we can help you get access to personal information including criminal history, educational background, and marital records. Making informed decisions in life means seeking out answers that you might not get from another person when you’re relying on them alone to be honest. Online dating is unique in that people can “pretend” to be whoever they want, and protecting yourself against that is a necessary precaution to take. If you’d like to learn more about our services, check out our website or contact us directly.

* Online Dating image credit goes to: RSMcLeod.

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Gavin Muirhead

Gavin Muirhead has been involved in developing products for background checks and improving online experiences in the background screening industry since 2012. He is the lead author and editor of Affordable Background Checks.