Finding love on the internet used to be taboo. However, 1 in every 5 relationships and 1 in every 6 marriages started online, according to the Statistic Brain Research Institute.
As technology continues to affect our daily lives, including work and education, it also greatly impacts our dating life. Before online dating, you had to leave the house to find someone who was compatible with you.
Now, you have significantly greater access to other singles looking for a relationship. However, it is critical that you follow safety protocols to protect yourself from getting scammed, hurt or catfished in the process of searching for the right person.
Some people feel comfortable sharing their full name on an online dating site as they would on their social media. However, it is best to simply use your first name on public sites.
After you’ve connected with the person on your personal communication, such as text, email or phone, then you can share as much information as you feel comfortable with providing at that time.
Additionally, do not share any personal information about yourself, such as your home address, social security number, etc. via a dating website or app for any reason.
For example, be careful that any picture that you upload does not have any personal information about you in the background, such as your address on a package. Be sure to crop any photo that could easily identify the neighborhood you live in or places that you frequent.
More Than One Picture
If you find someone who you are interested in getting to know, feel free to search their pictures under Google Images to verify who they are. Also, pay attention to the number of pictures that a person has on their profile.
While someone might be camera shy and only have one photo, it is important to get a good sense of what the person really looks like. If they have a few photos uploaded, then you can tell that the pictures reflect how the person really looks like. If you only have one picture to assess, then the person may have stolen the photo from the internet with the intent of catfishing you.
Before you decide to meet the person for a date, it may be a good idea to video chat with them first. If you choose to have a video chat with strangers, you must make sure that the background is neutral and that your love interest would not be able to identify your location or luxury items in your home.
If you are chatting on your phone, do not walk around your place as you talk. If you do, the person on the other end would be able to view the inside of your home, which could be problematic if the person does not have the best intentions. If you agree to a date, be sure to always pick a public place as a first date, such as a restaurant, movie theater, pool, etc.
While you may feel like you’ve landed on the perfect person through online dating, it is very important to always be safe. Before you form a relationship someone, be sure to double check that this stranger is who they say they are.
Even though you do not necessarily have to run a background check on the person, just keep your eyes and ears open for details. Take your time, employ common sense and ask your loved ones to assist you during the process.