Online Dating Rules: Be Safe Out There

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When you’re considering safety in an online dating community there are two different areas that you should consider. Both the safety of your credit card and your personal safety are important considerations.

* Look for a Better Business Seal or another seal of approval.

* The URL – or the name in the browser bar – should start with an https and not the standard http. The “s” represents an extra level of security as you enter your credit card information.

* Stay aware of any communication from the dating site that either they were hacked or the shopping cart/payment processor that you went through was hacked.

* Protect your credit information by getting a one-time credit card number from the card company that can’t be used again.

* Look for a site that has a protected and private email system. This means that you communicate through the site email system and your personal information is never shared until you share it.

* Your user name shouldn’t be related to your email address.

* Be sure that the site has a blocking option so you can block someone from seeing your profile or contacting you.

* Do not believe everything you read. People tend to lie about any number of things – age, size, children, occupation. It’s not a good way to start a relationship, but they do it anyway.

* Do NOT reveal your personal data until you’ve met the individual – in a PUBLIC place – several times. Set up an email account that doesn’t link to your name or address.

* Try not to rush into any relationship. I can be tough to contain your enthusiasm, but it is the safest route to take.

* Even when you decide to talk on the phone, use a voice number from Google that isn’t connected to your home number or personal details that anyone can access.

* If you are being harassed by anyone, report them to the dating site. They are there to monitor and help you.

* Avoid continuing conversations with anyone who lies, is intimidating, threatening, uses inappropriate language, posts inappropriate photos or easily angered.

* When you meet for the first and second time, do it in public. Be sure you have two friends who know where you’re going and who you are with. Give them the other person’s phone number and name/username on the site.

* Be wary of men and women who seem to go hot and cold. In other words, they contact you immediately after your email and then you wait for days for the next email. Sometimes we get busy or are traveling, so give some grace but if it’s a pattern it’s something you must consider before meeting them.

* Don’t trust anyone whose online persona is different from the person you are emailing or meet. If the photo is obviously someone else, you may be dating someone whose married.

* No one should ask for your financial information, money, financial assistance, or ask you to invest in something.

* Be wary of people who are anxious to know about your wealth and possessions.

Dating, online or offline, is not a risk-free zone. It pays to be vigilant to protect your safety: personal, financial and emotional.
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