Online dating: 5 tips to help you stay safe!

Online dating is heavily dependent on the internet. It involves creating a user profile, filling out the required information, planning, and showing up for virtual dates before any in-person meet-ups.

With the current wave of cyber-related threats, you are probably wondering whether there is a way to engage in this ‘online search’ without leaving yourself exposed to vulnerabilities. This post navigates through the risks of online dating and how you can ensure your safety.

What are the risks of online dating?

●       Online scammers:

There is the risk of linking up with people who have put up Fake Dating Profiles just to spam other users. These scammers build trust with unsuspecting users and then come up with an unexpected way of stealing from them.

●       Sex offenders:

Some people join online dating sites to look for sex; such people ruin it for people who are searching for meaningful relationships.

●       Exposure of private information:

It is tempting to share a little too much of your details (contacts, home addresses, videos, etc.) while conversing with a prospective lover on a dating site or when publishing your profile.

This information could expose you to risk if accessed or shared with malicious people.

●       Data leakage:

You may also suffer a Data Breach on the dating site. As a result, your data (on the dating site) may be exposed to third parties or stolen.

Tips to help you ensure your safety while dating online!

●       Protect your personal information:

Try not to share too much personal information than is necessary. Avoid disclosing details such as your home addresses until the relationship’s foundation is firm.

●       Create some face time:

Plan for in-person meetings and do so in a public place. If the physical distance is an obstacle, create time for virtual meetings over Zoom, Skype or other video calling service.

This way, you will be able to get rid of any doubts and to see if your prospective partner is anything close to what the profile indicates.

●       Secure your data:

To secure your dating traffic from hackers, spies and other snoopers within a network, stay protected with a VPN.

Virtual Private Networks use data encryption technology to secure a user’s network and traffic from third parties. This way, you will be shielded from data breaches and other network attacks.

●       Trust your gut:

Do not ignore your gut feelings. If it doesn’t feel right, it’s probably because it isn’t. Never force yourself into giving in to a stranger’s approaches just because you are single.

●       Tell someone else about your date:

Share the details of your date with a close friend. Let them know how you are progressing, the date venues, time and all the important details. Friends come in handy in identifying red flags which you might miss in your quest for the right one.

No matter how smooth an online date seems to be going, never lose your sobriety. Your prospective date might have good or ill intentions. Always consider your safety first.

I hope the above tips will help you stay safe while in online dating and that you find your special someone.

Last updated: 23-11-2020

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