Dating in the Digital Age and Keeping Yourself Safe

By Amy Collett, Feb. 22, 2000

If you’re looking to fall in love you may be looking online. Online dating has become the norm these days and apps, social media and other sites really can make meeting someone new easier. Still, most of the time you will be dealing with complete strangers. This means you need to make your safety a top priority, and these recommendations can help you do so.

Wait Before Meeting in Person

When you find a potential love connection online, it can be tempting to meet up with them in person as quickly as possible. However, it’s safer to wait at least a few weeks so you know the person you’re falling for over the internet is the person you’ll meet in real life.

This approach is one of the many ways Relationship Coach Susan Williams’s programs stand out. Her coaching programs are based on not meeting until both people have made it through a 3-week vetting process in which Susan ensures each person is honest and trustworthy. Plus, she discovers whether the potential pair has enough in common that they’re good candidates for a love match, so you won’t waste your time meeting someone who isn’t right for you. Learn more about her programs or contact her to get started on your romantic journey.

Use Tech for Safety, Not Just Dating

You’re already using your phone to meet that special someone. So, why not also use it to keep you safe when you are meeting new people? First, you’ll need a new smartphone with the latest features to maximize your safety. Apple’s latest iPhones are perfect options and include location settings and other built-in functions that you can use on dates or any other outings. For instance, you can turn on “Find My Friends” so your friends know exactly where you are.

Once you have one of the latest smartphones, you can also look into apps that have been built with safety and personal protection in mind. These apps are geared towards keeping women safe but anyone can use them. Circle of 6 is a pretty neat app where you choose six trusted friends that can receive your location, information about your well-being, and distress signals.

Wearables are another big tech trend that can give you peace of mind when meeting up with folks you don’t know. Some of these gadgets are actually made to look like jewelry but can be activated to alert friends of authorities that you are in a dangerous situation. Others double as weapons and personal protection equipment, but hopefully, you won’t ever need to use them.

Be Aware of Online Scams and Criminals

You may be looking for love, but unfortunately, there are a lot of shady characters online who are only looking to steal your identity, money, or worse, which is all the more reason to wait a few weeks before meeting someone in person. The FCC officially calls these unsavory characters “romance scammers” because of the tactics they use to get what they want out of unsuspecting people. Scammers will set up fake profiles on social media and dating apps and then use those profiles to ask for money for plane tickets, medical expenses, and more.

How can you spot these fake profiles? Most of the time scammers will claim to be doctors, military personnel or oil rig workers who are working out of the country. They may have a handful of photos and a handful of followers/friends, and they will always strike up a conversation using flattery. Basically, if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.

If you think you’ve been the victim of this sort of scam, you should break off communication ASAP. Talk to your friends and loved ones about what is happening. Oftentimes, they will be able to pick up on red flags when you’re not sure. When in doubt, you can also do an online search to confirm profile details. You can even opt for a background check on a potential sweetheart.

Do Some Homework Before Using Dating Apps

Before you create a profile and start swiping, you should really do some research around the most popular dating apps available right now. This is so crucial because some do require a little more effort to sign up, which can eliminate scammers and other suspicious people. You’ll also find that some dating apps are better for relationships, while others are all about having fun.

Speaking of having fun, we can’t talk about dating apps and safety without also reminding you of a few key points. These tips were written for people in college but they can apply to any casual dating situation. You already know to clue your trusted friends in on your whereabouts and other important date info, but you should also take additional safety steps.

Online dating can be a really fun way to meet new people! Whether you’re looking for a night of fun or a lasting connection, just be sure to keep safety in the front of your mind. Always give your circle details when meeting new people, and know how to use tech to keep yourself safe.

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