Keeping Safe When Online Dating

ONLINE DATING IN THE UK IS ON THE RISE WITH MONTHLY USERS INCREASING 13 PERCENT, WHICH MEANS THERE ARE NOW OVER 8 MILLION USERS INVOLVED IN ONLINE DATING IN THE UK. THE INDUSTRY ISN’T A NEW SHINY OBJECT ANYMORE AND IS PREDICTED TO BE WORTH OVER £225 MILLION BY 2019 IN THE UK.

AS MORE AND MORE PEOPLE LOOK ONLINE TO PURSUE A NEW RELATIONSHIP, WE WANT TO HELP GUIDE THE NEWCOMERS INTO THIS NEW AND EXCITING WORLD.

In light of this we have created a completely free “Beginners Guide to Online Dating” in partnership with some of the UK’s most famed dating experts. Over the next 4 weeks, we’ll be sharing a snippet from a few of our professionals to give you a taste of our guide, if you want more, then simply head over and download the full guide, be quikc it might not be free forever!!

So to kick this off, our first contributor is Ann from the Online Dating Association (ODA) who will share some info on staying safe when online dating, rememebr if you want the full resource, head over to the beginners Guide to Online Dating – take it away Ann!

Staying Safe When Online Dating

The safety of those using online dating is a primary concern across the industry, however you should think about your own personal safety too. When you embark on online dating you will be thinking a lot about what you want from a relationship but you should always be giving thought as to how to stay safe. Use care and common sense when communicating with or meeting new people, both online and offline.Below we have listed a few tips to help you have a safe experience, for more information please visit the ODA website and the organisations we recommend.

1. Protect your Identity When Crafting Your Online Dating Profile
Most sites will encourage you to create a User Name that does not contain your surname and doesn’t let everyone know who you are, this will help keep your personal information as anonymous as possible to the overall users.
Remember sexually explicit, provocative or controversial user names could attract the wrong kind of attention.
Stay in control when it comes to how and when you share information and don’t share personal details until you are ready. It is also best to avoid including contact information such as your email address, home address, where you work or your phone numbers in your profile.

2. Getting To Know New People And Protecting Yourself
When getting to know people, take your time and trust your instincts. When having a conversation online think whether you would be saying and sharing the same things if you were meeting the other person face-to-face.
Dating sites often offer mail and chat services so you can get to know people in a safe and controlled environment. Make the most of their platforms and the added security it gives you.
Top Tip – Take care when providing contact details to people who say their subscription is about to end. A common behaviour of scammers is to take the conversation away from the safety of the dating site as quickly as possible.

3.Be Aware Of The Warning Signs of a Scammer
Although the vast majority of individuals who use online dating services are honest about the information they give, as with all social networking sites, there may be some exceptions.
Below are a few examples of behaviours to watch out for:
Moving too quickly – Be cautious if the relationship progresses quicker than you are comfortable with. Sudden declarations of love may sound nice but other motives could be there. Use common sense and don’t be afraid to speak to a friend to get a second opinion.
Irregular behaviour – If the person seems vague, tries to take the conversation offline, has an unlikely story or acts inappropriately, then proceed with caution and don’t hesitate to report them.

4. Requests for money
Some scammers will look to gain your sympathy with emotional stories of ill relatives, financial difficulties or urgent job opportunities. Look out! Any request for money at any point should ring alarm bells.
Investment opportunities – Beware of anyone offering you ways to get rich quick by putting your money into investment schemes. You are online to meet people and make new relationships, not to act as a charity.

Top Tip – Online dating sites work hard to moderate profiles, however it is always worth doing some research of your own before meeting someone for the first time. Try searching for social media profiles or do a web search to see if there are any records or images of the person online. For example check their LinkedIn or run a Google Image search to check any photos provided.

To read more and for the full guide, please visit our beginners guide to online dating

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