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So you met this guy on an online dating site and you feel sure that you have a real and serious interest in this person. With a world where creeps live on the internet and scams are growing ever more popular we have to arm ourselves with the most basic and standard safety “know how” in order to make sure we don’t fall victim to the countless things that can go wrong in the world of dating.

Be it online or a real life date, here are some top tips to keep you safe and secure and that will ensure you have a positive experience.

 

  1. Keep your details private – never give out personal information such as your address to someone who you don’t completely trust. The sad truth is that there are countless numbers of bad people out there who really are out to get you and your money. If you aren’t sure, don’t share.
  2. Create a dating email account – If you are going the online dating route then it’s quite important that you don’t give out your work email address as this can be a grip for scammers to wriggle their way in. There’s also the obvious embarrassment of receiving flirty emails on your work account that you would rather not have the server administrator see.
  3. Chat up a storm – Always use instant messaging or a similar service to talk to and really get to know the person you plan on going on a date with well in advance. Find out as much about them as you possibly can. You should be able to pick up on any danger signs in the way he talks to you and the rate at which his “feelings” for you grows. If he tells you that he loves you after one day, back away and get out of there as soon as possible.
  4. Use the “Block” and “Report” features – if someone seems dodgy and keeps on nagging you the quickest and easiest way to get rid of them is hitting the block or report function on their profile. Your first instincts about someone are usually spot on. If it looks too good to be true, sadly it usually is.
  5. ALWAYS tell someone where you are going – Never go on a real date without letting a family member or friend know where exactly you can be found. Make sure your phone is charged and on so that it can be used in case of an emergency.
  6. Use the good old “escape” plan – Make sure that you have a friend or family member call you about 30 minutes into your date so that if the date isn’t going as planned you can always say there is a family crisis and you need to leave ASAP. It seems outdated, but this is always a good idea for a backup plan.
  7. Don’t trust strangers – Always make sure that you have your own means of transport to and from a date. Never accept rides from someone you don’t know, unless being stuffed into the back of a car is your dream ending to the first date. Having your own means of transport also ensures that you can leave when you want to and not have to rely on someone else’s schedule.
  8. Always choose a public location for your date – The chances of someone trying to overpower or take advantage of you are just far less in public, well lit spaces than in run down places. Make sure there are other people around to ensure your safety at all times.
  9. Do a background check – Google and Facebook are great friends to have. They can tell you well in advance what the other person is all about and help you spot red flags if there are any. If you really aren’t sure of the info you are getting, you might even consider something like a paid background check that will give you more detailed information.
  10. Go with your gut – If something feels off, you need to get out of there as soon as possible. Don’t wait around for the situation to become a real threat. If you are not feeling comfortable it is your human tight to get up and leave.

Lastly, remember that NO means NO, the very first time, no exceptions.

 
 

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