Dating online with confidence
Online dating with websites like Match, OkCupid, E-Harmony and others is an exciting experience for both new and regular users. The beauty of using a dating website is that you could meet the love of your life talking to someone you would either never approach on the street or be approached by.
Dating online allows us to contact a variety of people, they could live just up the road or on the other side of the country. No matter what sort of relationship you are looking for, it’s so easy to set up a profile online and get chatting with like-minded people.
Finding love online is a new and thrilling affair for most and nothing should take the fun away from you. This is why it’s so important to be careful with your personal information and you must protect yourself when using anything on the Internet, whether you are doing your weekly shop or using a dating site. We’ve highlighted a few simple ways to stay safe and make your search for the love of your life as easy as possible…
Hold back personal information
The main issue, and one that is never your fault, is that you can’t really be certain at first, with whom you are talking to online. ‘Mr_Handsome’ or ‘LittleMissPretty’ might look and talk the part but he or she could be hiding behind a fake profile, complemented with stolen images and an alias.
Of course, you would be extremely unlucky to come across one of these people (and let’s face it, we all put up pictures that make us look a lot better than in real life) but it’s vital that you keep your eyes open to everything and anything that could happen.
It is so important that you hold your full name, phone number and where you are located close to your chest, until you are absolutely certain the person you are talking to is the real deal. A quick Google search of their name should help you discern whether they are telling the truth or not.
Always use a reputable site
It’s important that you only sign up to a highly regarded dating website that is well known – don’t be duped by a cheaper subscription or deal. Check that the website is secure and endorsed by security service providers such as McAfee or Norton Antivirus.
You should also ensure that the site offers customer service and has policies against inappropriate activity, so if something does go wrong you know who to contact to resolve the issue.
Be aware of the opportunists
According to statistics, from research conducted by Get Safe Online and the National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, online dating fraud costs victims £24.5m per year, there were 2,800 reported online dating crimes in 2013 and 63% came from women.
Sadly, there are a small minority of people out there who are more than happy to take advantage of a person’s good nature, so it is important that you know what to look out for. If someone is overly friendly or familiar and open about their personal problems straight away, keep a close eye on the conversation and if they ask for money to help them out of a bad situation.
An online dating website is never the place to seek help for money troubles, so if someone asks you to send them cash, quickly block and report them to the site owners.
A small majority of people using dating websites find themselves trusting the person they are talking to too quickly and end up not only heart broken, but out of pocket. If you think smart you will never have any problems and could soon be meeting up with Mr or Miss Right.
Create a new email address
If you want to communicate with another member of a dating site via email then it might be worth keeping all communication on that site rather than giving out your personal address right away. Then, perhaps once you’ve already been on a couple of dates with that person and begin to feel comfortable, you could exchange email addresses with them.
Trust us, it’s not all doom and gloom! As long as you make sure you stick to these basic safety rules the Internet should be a fantastic opportunity to make friends, discover new things and even meet the love of your life.