As the rate of online crimes rises, it is impeccable to be as secure as possible when surfing the internet, and after you make a commitment to meet anyone.
People aren’t always who they say they are and the manner in which criminals present themselves has changed dramatically. Nowadays it could be that hot-boy-next-door looking guy. Preparation is everything before that first date.
Plus you also don’t want to be a bag of nerves during the whole date. Remember it’s all about getting to know the person in front of you.
Here is a checklist to follow so that you’re absolutely safe and can focus on other things calmly.
Dating safety checklist…
- Be spot on about where you’re going. If it’s an unfamiliar place, double-check with your date and scout the area on Google Maps so that your route is set up.
- Any reputable dating site always has a physical office address or number to call for inquiries and complaints. Do your homework on them before making the decision to meet anyone. A Google search for the site always helps along with a check on reviews to find out what others have said about it. Remember to focus on the Google reviews and not just those on the site since these are easily doctored.
- Check if your personal information isn’t visible for all to see or easily shared with a third party. The way to verify this is by looking at the dating site‘s privacy statement. Yes, it might seem like such a bore but its necessary information.
- The email address you use for dating online should only be for that. No work, home, or personal email addresses that you frequently access. It should take you about 15 minutes to set one up specified for online dating.
- Never share or disclose personal information. Online dating should seem real enough, yes but with enough creativity, you can express all you need to without letting out private information that identifies you.
- Pick a bland or simple-sounding username that doesn’t have any underlying meanings you aren’t prepared for. Remember to not use your real name in any instance.
- Use a private phone number or service. With the recent Information and Communications Technology, it is ridiculously easy to locate a person’s geographic location by just their phone number. And guess what? It’s just as simple to set up a separate online dating email address. It is also effortless to set up a private phone contact number.
- You truly get what you pay for. Sticking to paid sites ensures that you get connected to people that have verifiable identities. Membership payments also decrease the criminal pool.
- Getting picked up by a total stranger on the first date is not romantic. It’s highly dangerous which is why you should always arrange to meet instead. If your date refuses to honour this, they probably have sinister motives.
- Follow the rule of public places. Private dates are cool and everything but only when you know who you’re with. Always go to public places where other people are. No dark alleys or secret venues. It’s actually a great idea to double date it up or have a group date instead.
- Always pay in cash. Credit cards leave trails of personal information that can be used to trace you.
- Only give out your private cell number instead of a home number. If this isn’t available then let them know you’ll email them the following day.
- Always arrive with your own transportation so that a quick exit is possible if they don’t turn out to be the person you were expecting. This also helps because you’ll have people who know where you are and where to pick you up if things go sour.
- Have someone whom you are constantly updating on your whereabouts. This doesn’t mean sticking to your phone. Just casual short info that you’re doing okay.
These may seem like a lot but they’ll ensure that you enjoy your first date and hopefully anticipate the next. Be completely cautious until a time you can be sure about the Genuity of a person. Happy Dating!
Any other tips you can think of? Add them in the comments section below and let’s keep each other safe!