14 Tips for Online Dating Safety

online dating

Hey there, love-seekers! Are you ready to dive into the exciting world of online dating but feeling a bit overwhelmed with concerns about online dating safety?

We’ve got some handy tips to help you navigate these digital waters, ensuring you keep your safety in check. So get comfy and let’s chat about how to rock the online dating game with an emphasis on online dating safety!

1. Choose reliable dating sites/apps

First things first, let’s talk about where to start your love journey. With a sea of dating sites and apps out there, picking the right one can be as confusing as choosing a Netflix show on a Saturday night.

Our advice? Stick to the well-known ones – they usually have better security and a bigger pool of potential matches. It’s like going to a popular café versus a shady bar — you want to be where the good vibes (and people) are! Doing a quick Google search or checking out reviews can help you pick a winner.

2. Pick a neutral username

Pick a dating site username that doesn’t reveal too much about you. Avoid using your full name, birth year, or other personal identifiers. A neutral username helps maintain your anonymity until you decide to reveal more.

3. Protect your personal info

In the world of online dating, sharing is not always caring, especially when it comes to your personal info. Don’t rush to share sensitive details like your address, or the name of the place you work. Keep it under wraps until you really get to know and trust your date. Wait until it feels right before you start to share more, to ensure your online dating safety. 

4. Don’t give out your real phone number right away

Get yourself a temporary Hushed number instead. Just download the app and pick a number to chat with your app matches; they won’t even know it’s not your actual number. And if someone gets weird, you can just delete that number and cut all ties.

5. Be mindful of photos and videos

Always think twice before sharing pictures or videos. Remember, once something is out there, it’s hard to control where it ends up. If you’re uncomfortable with the thought of them becoming public, it’s best not to share. Also, take a close look at your profile photos – make sure they don’t give away too much, like your home address, workplace, or other personal details in the background.

6. Google yourself

It might sound weird, but Google your name or your dating-site username. See what comes up and be aware of the information about you that’s publicly accessible. This can give you an idea of what potential dates might find if they decide to do a little online detective work.

7. Check out their social media

If you’ve hit it off with someone online, it doesn’t hurt to do a quick check on their social media profiles. It’s like peeking into their digital diary (without the sneaky part). It can give you a better picture of who they are (and confirm they are who they say they are). You can also get a feel for their interests, lifestyle, and maybe even their love for weird cat memes. Keep it light though — no need to scroll back to their 2009 Facebook posts!

8. Review your social media privacy

Take a moment to review your social media accounts. How much can someone see from a public view? Make sure your profiles are locked down so that only friends can see your posts, photos, and personal information. You might be surprised at what strangers can find out about you with just a few clicks.

9. Video chat before meeting them in person

Before you take the plunge and meet up in person, why not have a video chat? It’s a great way to get a better feel for someone, beyond their profile and text messages. Plus, it adds an extra layer of safety, since you can confirm they are who they say they are. Think of it as a pre-date from the comfort of your couch.

10. First date: Public places are your best friend

Now, let’s chat about first dates. Meeting at a public place is your golden rule here. Think coffee shops, a busy park, a restaurant, or an art exhibit. These spots aren’t just safe; they’re also great for sparking conversation. And hey, if the date’s a bust, at least you got to enjoy a great latte or some cool art!

11. Stick to safe conversation topics

When you’re chatting with someone new, stick to safe and light topics. Discuss interests like music, movies, books, hobbies, or travel experiences. Avoid oversharing personal details or discussing controversial subjects until you really get to know the person.

Check out our list of 101 online dating questions to ask.

12. Tell a friend about your date

Always loop in a trusted friend about your date plans. Tell them who you’re meeting, where you’re going, and when you expect to be back.  It’s like having a safety net – just in case. Plus, you’ll have someone to text all the juicy details to after the date!

13. Have an exit strategy

Always have an exit strategy and emergency plan. Arrange for a safety call or text with a friend during your date. This can be a quick check-in to confirm that everything is going as planned, or a pre-arranged signal to ask for help if the date is not going well. It’s always better to be prepared, just in case you need an out.

14. Trust your gut

Last but not least, if something feels off, it probably is. Your intuition is a powerful tool in online dating, so listen to it. If you’re not feeling it, it’s totally okay to call it a day.

Remember, the key is to have fun, be yourself, and stay safe. Who knows? Your next swipe might just be the one that brings you face-to-face with someone special.

Happy dating!