Online dating can be a great way to meet new people without the pressure of awkward social situations.
Among independent sites, Stewart cites Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, How About We, e Harmony, Zoosk and Plenty Of Fish as being “large enough to have good policies in place.” Although these larger websites don’t necessarily have more trustworthy users, you can at least rely on the sites to keep your information safe.
“Any time you're giving out personal information or credit card information, you want to be able to trust the site/company,” Stewart says.
Read on for what to look out for and how to stay safe! You’ve been told to be careful with online dating, but do you know why?
Like with anything you do on the Internet, “there is risk of identity theft, financial fraud, trolling/internet stalking, catfishing and general safety issues when meeting someone you don't know,” says Gina Stewart, an online dating expert.
Use a free email provider Your email address can give away a lot of information about you.
If you give someone your work email address you are also likely to be giving them information such as your last name and your place of work.
Apparently it is easier for scammers to work their magic long-distance, where it is more challenging for them to get caught. While scams are often local, many come from abroad.
Keep on the lookout for hardship stories: This person should be courting you, not asking for an emergency handout! Upload a potential date's photograph on Tin Eye, which will let you see where else on the Internet the photo has appeared. Their messages are filled with bad grammar and often have an odd tone.
Here are a few safety tips you should know before you go looking for love online, with some reassurances from seasoned "virtual" daters. Wait until you actually meet the person and build up a level of trust before you share your address, phone number or real email address.
(You typically use an encrypted email on these sites.) Stay local.
There’s no need to get their inside leg measurement and mother’s maiden name but, checking they are a "real person" before a date will give you piece of mind before you meet.