How Do You Know if an Online Dating Site is Safe?

As online dating continues to grow in use and popularity, many new sites pop up, trying to cash in on the money being spent with dating sites. Be aware that not all online dating sites are the same. Do some research before signing up. Take advantage of any trial period that’s offered. Look for and read reviews of the site. This article will outline what you should be looking for to be sure your favorite online dating site is as safe as possible.

Online dating - how to know if it's safe

“You just can’t trust people you meet online”

The anonymity that dating sites offer is a double-edged sword. While it allows you the freedom of people not knowing who you are, it keeps you from really knowing to whom you might be revealing your innermost secrets, dreams and desires.

The first thing you want to look for in a dating site is their method of identification verification. If they don’t have one, I’d move on and look for a site that does. Some people may feel that ID verification invades their privacy too much. To those folks I would recommend you go back out in the real world to do your dating. In order to stay safe in the world of online dating, *somebody* needs to be verifying the identities of dating site members.

Many of the pay-to-join sites use credit cards to verify that the person signing up is who they claim to be. Some sites have additional filters in place that include address, age, even criminal background and sex offender status. Keep in mind though, even with all the methods a dating site may use, your safety ultimately rests on your shoulders. Do adequate research and learn all you can about a dating site before you decide to join and use common sense when deciding who you’ll share your personal information with.

“This freak won’t leave me alone”

What happens if you’re corresponding with someone and they step over the line…either with offensive language or freaky suggestions, or maybe they just won’t take no for an answer and continually harass you with email and messages. Before you register with a dating site, make sure they have a reporting system. Most reputable singles dating sites will allow you to block any and all unwelcome correspondence from any member by clicking on a ‘Block’ button. In the event you need further intervention, in many cases you can report them to the site administrators. If you’re considering a dating site, check out their reporting system before you decide to sign up.

“Are Online Dating Sites Safe?”

For the most part, the people you’ll find on dating sites are a lot like you, just trying to connect with that special someone. But we all know that weird people do exist, and some find their way to online dating sites. For that reason, I’ve listed 5 tips to make your dating site experience as safe as possible.

  1. Don’t give out any personal contact information in your profile.
  2. Don’t agree to meet someone until you’re completely at ease with the idea.
  3. Always make the first few meetings somewhere public and tell a friend or family member where you’re going, who you’re meeting and that you’ll call when the date is over.
  4. Set a time limit for the first meeting. If things work out well, you can always extend it.
  5. Agree on a centralized location and meet them there for the first date. Don’t let anyone pick you up or drop you off at your home. If things go well, there’ll be time later for exchanging addresses and other personal information.

Bonus Tip

If you’re uncertain about someone, or uncomfortable with their suggestions, DON’T DO IT. Never let anyone pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do. Use your common sense, listen to your inner voice and go with your gut feelings, they’ll rarely steer you wrong.

Aelicia J. Anderson

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