Meeting and dating people online is the norm these days. It is exciting and definitely very easy but do we stop and think about the possible dangers of meeting strangers online? ‘Are They Safe’ reveals the lowdown on online dating and how you can protect yourself.
When you date online you:
- Put your personal safety at risk
- You put yourself at the risk of harassment and stalking
- You can be a victim of fraud and ‘unfortunate situations’
- You endanger yourself from fraud, blackmail, theft and phishing.
What you can do:
- Follow internet dating safety tips, do not reveal personal information online. Set up an internet dating profile without revealing to much personal information.
- Conduct a background check when you finally want to meet a person from a dating site. It pays to be safe.
- Change your password often. Don’t put your profile at risk. Make sure you change your password to an undecipherable one. Stop using your birthday, your anniversary or even your street address. Use alphanumeric passcodes.
- Get to know people and trust your instincts when meeting people personally. Do not be in a hurry and be responsible, take precautions by using ‘Are They Safe’ to conduct checks on potential dates especially if you have children. Most people are simply too eager to meet in real life without performing background checks but eagerness could turn into danger especially if you do not get to know the other party beforehand.
- Be smart and stay safe when you finally decide to meet ensure you tell a friend or family member where you are planning to go so that they know your whereabouts incase anything were to happen.
The minute you see red flags
There are a lot of ways to tell that there is something wrong. Money requests, giving degrading, insulting and threatening remarks or behavior should be reported immediately. If you are in a chatroom, report the suspicious member to the moderator. Be on the lookout for trolls and spammers and be sure to follow chatroom rules before you proceed.
Be aware of phishing sites and other online dangers
A lot of undesirable things happen when you are reckless with your personal information online. You must be very cautious in doing so. Make sure that a site is legit before you sign up. Don’t just give your credit card numbers and other financial information. Use an online payment system or an alternative payment method that will secure your identity when you shop online.
Invest in a reliable antivirus product with updated internet security features to further increase your security.