This article was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp.
Dating apps and sites are now the primary way that people meet romantic partners. And though there are many great people on dating apps, the truth is that there are many harmful people too. For example, one in ten users on datings sites is fake, and many dangerous people such as kidnappers and rapists use online dating to find their next targets. Furthermore, many people utilize these apps to get money and scam unsuspecting people.
Considering there are many dangers to online dating, you need to be cautious and armed with the knowledge that will help you navigate these apps safely. Luckily, there are plenty of tips that can help you with this. Read on to learn about how to be safe when using dating apps.
Use Caution When Giving Out Personal Information
Though some apps will require some amount of personal information when you sign up (such as your first name), you should be very cautious with this and only provide the minimum information required. It is all too easy for any user to find out who you are, where you live, and who you interact with just a few pieces of information. Someone with ill intentions can use that information to harass you or steal your money and identity.
Therefore, you should only provide the minimum amount of personal information necessary until you feel comfortable with your date. Giving out your full name, address, financial information, and other personal information can give scammers all the ammo they need to ruin your life.
Block Suspicious Or Harmful Users
Though most people on dating apps are the real deal, a significant percentage of profiles are scams, bots, or outright frauds. For example, many people will create fake profiles with attractive photos in order to get money or something else from other users on the app.
Furthermore, other people may match with others just to be hateful or harass them. If either case happens to you, block and report the user and move on. Don’t continue to divulge in conversing with them, as this will only encourage them to continue the behavior.
Only Use Apps That You Trust
There are numerous dating apps available, and some are better than others. Some apps are tried and true with thousands or millions of happy users. Others have a more mixed reception or a history of major issues.
Though you may be tempted to sign up for every dating app you come across, this isn’t a wise decision. You don’t want to sign up for an app that is full of bot users or frauds who are just trying to scam you. Therefore, be selective and only interact with people on apps that you trust.
Avoid Profiles That Seem Odd Or Suspicious
We’ve all come across profiles that seem a bit odd or suspicious. Maybe they display their Venmo handle for donations or only provide extremely limited information in their bio. Some people interact with these users, hoping to get a genuine date but often get scammed, harassed, or just don’t hear back.
If you find any of these profiles, just swipe them and move on. Don’t take any risks when interacting with suspicious users, as it just isn’t worth it. There are plenty of other people on the app who aren’t suspicious that will be better worth your time.
Video Chat Before Meeting In Person
After matching with someone, many users are eager to meet them in person and progress the relationship. However, just because you like someone’s profile doesn’t mean that you will click well with that person in real life. Furthermore, a profile rarely gives a good picture of how safe the person is, so you need to take it slow with them in order to stay safe.
One way to get a feel for the person without putting yourself at risk is by doing a video chat for the first date. This will not only help you determine if you truly are a good match, but it will also help you figure out if the person is authentic or not. This is a great way to weed out potential scammers or suspicious users, as anyone suspicious may be uncomfortable meeting this way or will show their true colors early on in the date. If the person is genuine and seems like a good match, this will be obvious within the first few minutes of your video date.
Trust Your Instincts
Overall, you just have to trust your instincts. If something doesn’t feel right, then be assured that it isn’t. Your safety is far more important than getting another date. If you ever feel uncomfortable or unsafe in any situation, trust your feelings and do whatever you need to do to feel safe again.
Final Thoughts On Online Dating
Online dating can be a great tool to meet amazing people and potentially find your soulmate. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t dangers or cautions to consider. So when signing up for the next hot dating app, keep these tips in mind to ensure you meet only safe and wonderful people. If you want more dating tips and advice, head over to this link for further reading.