Online dating is more popular than ever! And while this can be exciting when you meet a great match, the dangers of dating apps can put you at risk. The cliché “don’t talk to strangers” isn’t exactly realistic in today’s world. However, you must get to know a stranger before letting your guard down.
Sadly, there are people who may pretend to be someone they’re not. Or, they may have malicious intentions for their “dates.” Sometimes, if things don’t work out, that kind, genuine person online can turn into a harassing, stalking predator.
Fortunately, dating safely online is possible. Follow these dating safety tips to strike the perfect balance. You can enjoy the benefits of online dating without putting yourself at risk!
Tips 1: Guard your Information
One of the most important dating safety tips is to guard your personal information closely. Then, remain guarded until you really get to know (and trust) him or her. Obviously, getting to know someone involves sharing. But that doesn’t mean that person needs to know the address of your apartment, house, office, etc.
Even giving away your last name makes it easy for someone to Google you and find your address, phone number, and more. While this is fine if the person is legitimate, it could quickly spiral into a nightmare if things go wrong.
Instead, stick to sharing information about hobbies, interests, what you value, general descriptions of your work, etc. There are ways to share who you are without giving that person a roadmap to every person and place in your life. Then, as you get to know him or her, slowly release more personal information at your own pace.
Another way to limit the personal information you provide is to create a Google Voice number. This number links with your cell phone, allowing you to talk and get to know the other person. But, you don’t need to reveal your actual cell phone number. Then, in the event that the relationship doesn’t work out, you can block the person on Google. Now you don’t need to worry about bother some texts, calls, etc. on your cell!
Tips 2: Meet in Public
Until you get to know the person better, stay safe by meeting in public locations that you know well. Arrange for your own transportation to and from the date. Don’t go home with your date, either, until you’ve gone out multiple times and truly know him or her.
If you do go home with your date, let a trusted friend know. Share your date’s address with the friend, and create a check-in plan. This way you can periodically let him or her know that you are ok.
Tips 3: Meet with Friends
Consider bringing friends with you (or make sure they are strategically located in the restaurant, coffee house, etc. where you are meeting your date). There’s always safety in numbers. Plus, your friends may sense something that you don’t and can alert you to any red flags.
Tips 4: Discover Connections
The more connections you have with the person, through mutual friends, work, etc., the better. That coworker of your date knows what he’s like on the job. And the former college roommate knows what she’s like to live with. Or, that distant cousin knows how he’s acted in the past at family reunions.
Any of these connections allows you to get to know this person in a different way. And if your date has ulterior motives, information from other sources can’t be masked with good acting. While you don’t want to be paranoid, it doesn’t hurt to ask around.
Tips 5: Carry Protection
Now, you might think I’m talking about the type of protection you’ll need if things heat up. Sorry – this dating safety tipmeans thinking about physical protection from assault or attack. Consider carrying mace, pepper spray, or even some sort of weapon with you. But before you do, educate yourself. Learn how to use the protective equipment. In an emergency, you don’t want to have to think twice about how to use that device!
Silent Beacon is an easy-to-carry, lightweight personal safety panic button. With the press of the button on Silent Beacon, you can trigger an alert to your pre-stored contacts. These contacts can include friends, family, and even emergency personnel like 911!
The Silent Beacon device pairs with the free Silent Beacon safety app, and this acts as your dating safety app. When you signal an alert, your contacts will receive texts, emails, and phone calls. The Silent Beacon’s GPS technology allows emergency personnel to find you quickly and easily. Plus, the Beacon’s two-way communication is yet another built-in feature that you can enable. In an emergency, this feature lets you speak to your contacts as you wait for help to arrive.
Best of all, the device is affordable at $99. There are no extra fees or charges, either. Simply set up the device, pair it with the free app, and carry it on a keychain, lanyard or in your purse or pocket on your next date!
Our hope is that you meet the perfect match the next time you click on your favorite dating app. At the same time, please remember that there are predators constantly lurking around. However, don’t let the dangers of dating apps stop you. While it’s necessary to take precautions, let Silent Beacon remain your go-to safeguard.
With Silent Beacon – and by following these dating safety tips– you can meet new people with confidence and peace of mind!