Over 250 million adults use dating apps worldwide.
Many users utilize apps or websites to meet others to foster relationships or hook up.
In any situation where you are meeting strangers online, it’s important to keep your safety in mind. Here are a few safety tips for online dating:
When setting up your profile, whether it be on Tinder, Bumble, Hinge, or any other dating app, it’s important to remember a few safety tips:
- Reverse Image Search: Always keep reverse image search in mind. If you use the same photo on your profile that you have set for a social media photo, reverse image search can allow someone to find you off of the app and allow them to gain more information about you than you intended.
- Don’t Be Too Specific: Be mindful of the information you give out on your dating profile. If you upload a photo of yourself, make sure you aren’t standing near any identifiable landmarks near your home. Be mindful of giving too many details regarding your lifestyle.
- Prioritize Your Privacy: If you add your social media to your profile, keep your social media accounts private and only accept follow requests from people you know and trust.
When connecting with others, do so with caution.
Don’t be immediately forthcoming about where you work, the neighborhood you live in, etc.
Ease into the conversation with basic opening questions such as:
- What is your favorite book?
- What kind of music do you like?
- What are your hobbies?
- What is your favorite movie?
Don’t share your private social media with this person until you feel safe doing so. Propose a Facetime or Zoom call before meeting in person to ensure they are who they claim to be. Remember that anyone can say that they’re someone else online.
There is always a risk meeting up with someone you have met online, even if you have spent weeks or months talking. If you are meeting up with someone for the first time, here are some safety tips to keep in mind:
- Share Your Location: Always turn your location on for friends and family you trust, and make sure to keep your phone on you at all times.
- Meet in Public: Propose a coffee or dinner date in a public space. Make sure the public area is well-populated.
- Don’t Rely on Your Date for Transportation: Tell them that you will meet them wherever you are going and either drive yourself or take public transportation.
If the date is going great, trust yourself and have fun! But, if you begin to have a feeling in your stomach telling you something is wrong, trust it! Those are your instincts, letting you know something is off! If you feel unsafe and need to leave, reach out to a friend and let them know you need to leave and share your location.
Always remember that you don’t owe anyone anything. You aren’t under any obligation to see a conversation or date through if you don’t want to. If you are on a date, you are not obligated to go home with that person. If you go home with them, remember you are not obligated to do anything you don’t want to.