Staying Safe While Online Dating

Despite some resistance during its inception in the late 20th century, online dating has become the norm during this technological age. A 2017 survey showed that around 39% of current couples met their partners online, which is more than double the number in 2007.


It’s clear that online dating is here to stay; however, with its popularity, it has become a prime location for predatory behavior. There have been horror stories of men and women taking advantage of people online through dating sites, suggesting that despite all the love going around, there’s also a sinister side to online dating


However, there are easy measures for you to follow to maximize your safety so that you can go about looking for Mr. or Ms. Right with some peace of mind. 


Research them

A quick scroll through Facebook or Twitter can be a great way to see if the person you’re matched with is real. These days, it’s highly unlikely that a person won’t have a profile on either of these sites, so if that’s the case, start questioning immediately. If you do find accounts, make sure they’re well lived and look legit. Some fakes will build accounts to aid in their deception, but they’ll probably only have a couple of photos on it and few friends.  


Another research technique is to reverse image search for their pictures. This can be done on Google by simply clicking the camera icon on the search bar and is a good way to see if they’ve taken those images from anywhere else. 


Don’t feel guilty about doing your research! Your safety is a priority. The dating sites themselves advise this behavior too. OkCupid is just one of the platforms with robust safety measures, and you can save on a membership with OkCupid Coupons


Video Chat before meeting

This is a good way to make sure your date is who they say they are, and it also eradicates the chances of nasty surprises when meeting in person. With so many avenues to video chat these days, including Skype, Facetime, and now Facebook messenger, it’s easier than ever to get a glimpse of each other face to face through the web. If your date is reluctant to do any of these, then it might mean that they’re hiding something, and it would be advisable to stay away. 


Only communicate with verified accounts

There are a lot of people pretending to be something that they’re not on dating websites. This is known as catfishing, and people do it for a multitude of different reasons, but many apps have features to help protect you from false identities.


The most common feature is a verification process, where selfies taken from a phone or laptop camera need to be sent in. These selfies are then compared against the photos used to build a profile to see if they match and are indeed the same person. 


Ask for a specific picture

A lot of fake dating profiles will use images of other people found online. This can range from generic images found on Google to stealing another person’s photos from their social media. A good faker will probably also have some selfies ready, so asking them to send you a pic of themselves that isn’t part of their profile might not be enough to protect you. A good technique is to ask them to write your name or a location on a piece of paper and get them to take a photo holding it. This is incredibly hard to fake, so it’s likely that if they do it, you can be sure that the person is genuine. 


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