Online Dating Safety Tips Everyone Should Know

by Debolina Raja

Battling deadlines, working late and being a social butterfly can take a toll on your soulmate search party—which is why dating apps are the best thing to have happened to single folks the world over. Dating apps have really changed the game when it comes to finding true love. Yet, rubbing this supposedly magic lamp may end up with you getting a slimy creep instead of a handsome, wish-granting genie.

Here are 5 tips to use these apps by being smart and staying safe.

1. Be Smart About Your Profile Picture: The first thing an online dating user will notice about you is your profile picture. Of course you want it to be stunning and natural. It has to be well-composed and the angle has to be just right. But you should also play it safe in case any of your contacts become a little too persistent and try to track you down on their own. Avoid sharing a pic that clearly indicates where you are, or worse yet, where you work or live. Don't share any information your mother would have warned you not to give to strangers, because before you've met and vetted your potential suitors, that's what they are.

2. A Little Modesty Won't Hurt: You probably work very hard to stay in shape, and maybe you have an enviable bod -- kudos to you, girl. But it's never a good idea to show too much skin on these sites. Once your picture is uploaded, anyone can copy and misuse it if they want to. Being extra careful will keep your image from being used in a way you didn't agree to.

3. Screen The Information You Share: It is possible that your dating profile is connected to your social media pages. If so, remove any personal information, such as where you live, what are the nearest landmarks, the places you frequent often, or the places that are frequented by your family members. Also, when you're starting out communications with any new contact don't over-share too soon. You want to make sure you are comfortable with who the person is and how you witness them behaving (in real life interactions, yes that means you have to actually go on a date) before you share too much of your own personal information.

4. Don’t Give Out Your Number Yet: You may have found the perfect partner online, but unless you meet them in person, try not to share your phone number. You can always fix up a meeting place while chatting on the dating site or app. Once you meet your date, rely on your instinct to tell you whether or not you want to take it forward and if you want to exchange numbers. Remember, once you've given out your number you can't take it back.

5. It's Complicated: You may already be in a relationship while looking for some excitement on a dating site. We are not judging here, but if discovered, it may land you in trouble. If you still want to go ahead, avoid getting too explicit just yet, especially with the sex talk.

Although it's fun and addictive to be on a dating site, don't forget that there's all kinds of people out there, and not all of them have good intentions. Following a few guidelines may help you separate the crazy from the sane and stay safe online.

Image Courtesy: Shutterstock

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