Over time our society has certainly progressed into a more technological world. Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest and countless phone apps…we have so many ways to stay plugged into the world and connected to so many people. And now, even dating is becoming technologically based. But in a world that has become so reliant on technology, it’s hard to really keep your personal information personal.
Shows like MTV’s Catfish brings to light the scams and lies some people tell when online dating. Some people aren’t who they say they are nor who they portray themselves to be. People aren’t always truthful about their names, occupations, age, or, at times, their gender so it’s important to stay safe and cautious when meeting people on the internet.
Don’t tell personal information
A lot of people make the innocent mistake of posting too much information on the internet. When online dating–or just dating in general–it’s hard to know who is trustworthy. Never put your full name, where you live, your phone number, or anything of personal value on your dating profile. Basically, don’t tell anyone any information that can possibly lead to your identity being stolen.
Meet in a public location
If you ever decide to meet someone you meet online, it’s best to do so in a highly public place; don’t meet at your house or their house. You should also be sure to tell someone you know and trust, i.e. a friend or family member, where and with whom you will be. You’ll be more at ease to know there are many people around if anything makes you uncomfortable and you want to leave the meetup.
Take someone with you
If you do choose to meet up with someone you meet online, if you can, take someone with you just to make sure the situation is completely safe. With the Grouper app–downloadable on iPhone and available online–you’re matched with someone and then told where to meet and to bring two of your friends. The person you’re meeting also brings two of their friends, and you then go on a group date of 6 people. It makes the situation more comfortable because you get to hang out with people you know while also getting to know new people.
Never send money
While this seems like advice that goes without saying, I’ve actually met people that have done this. When people spend a great amount of their time talking to someone online, they may feel connected to this person in a special way. However, you never know what someone is actually doing with the money they’re being sent. They could be trying to scam you with no attachment to you whatsoever.
Do a simple Google search
By completing a quick Google search on the person you’re talking to, it becomes a little bit easier to find out if a person is legitimately who they say they are. You can try to Google the information you know about them, as well as Google search the photos they have uploaded to see where else on the internet they appear. While it’s not a full background search, it can be a helpful step to know who you’re really chatting with online.