The popularity of dating websites has exploded in recent years. The stigma of online dating no longer exists, and more and more single people prefer online encounters to meeting people in bars or clubs. Although dating websites are safe to use and many of them offer security measures and support, members are advised to be vigilant and take their own precautions.
Choose Your Dating Sites Carefully
Always do your research before you sign up to a dating website. There are hundreds of different sites out there, and not all of them should be trusted. Some sites are padded with fake profiles that attempt to dupe members with false messages in an effort to keep legitimate users interested and make sure that they continue to pay subscription fees. Other dating websites have more nefarious scams, and they attempt to extort money or personal information from members. Read reviews of dating websites before you create a profile, and stick to some of the most popular, well-known services.
Be Careful About Sharing Your Personal Information
Many members on dating websites feel pressured into divulging personal information. It can be a difficult situation, as some services offer better match results when you share more personal information with them. Sparse profiles that haven't been filled in and do not have a personal photograph are less likely to gain attention from other members, too.
Only share personal information that you feel confident about providing. Your full name, place of work, telephone number and address should not be made publicly available on your dating profile, and be cautious about giving them out to other members.
Always Communicate Through The Website
When communicating with other members, only use the communication services offered by the dating website. You may prefer talking through email or other instant messaging services, but sharing these types of contact details with other people allows them to easily find more personal information about you. For example, it may seem innocuous to give out your email address, but a simple Google search of an email address could reveal your Twitter, Facebook and other social media accounts and profiles.
If you have been messaging someone back and forth for some time and feel confident enough to meet them in person, take plenty of precautions. Always choose a public place if you are meeting someone for the first time, like a coffee shop or pub, and tell a close friend where you are going and at what time. It can be a good idea to keep in contact with your friend during the encounter via text, or ask them to come along and keep an eye out to see if everything goes well (they don't have stay through the entire date!). You can never be too safe, and you shouldn't feel paranoid about being cautious. Safety is paramount with online dating, and taking the right steps can make the experience fun and successful.
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