Dating safety tips
I thought about it this time last year, but all I managed to do was repeatedly download and then delete the Tinder and OKCupid apps on my phone — usually while I was sitting on the toilet. That said, since the Pew Research Center reports that 15 percent of American adults use online dating sites — and most of those adults are millennials like me— I felt like it was worth my time to learn all that I could about staying safe while dating online.
I spoke with online dating expert Laurie Davis to find out more. So if you want some expert advice on how to stay safe while dating onlineread on. It may sound ridiculous, but according to eFlirt dating coach Laurie Davis, you need to Google yourself so you can "Know what is out there about you.
As Davis put it, "Once someone has your full name, what will they find?
Safe online dating
Based on what comes up, you may want to wait a date or two. I Googled myself just now and found images and info galore.
As Davis told Bustle, "one of my clients found that her town posted the sale of her house on their website, and it came up on the first of Google. Not only would a date now know her address, but they also would know how much she paid for her home.
Dating safety in age of technology
As we've established, making yourself too easy to Google won't help you stay safe while dating online. So, unsurprisingly, when I asked Davis if it's best not to list your full name on your online dating profile, here's what she said: "while you want to be completely authentic in your profile, you want to be careful about any overly personal details you reveal that may make you Googleable.
Giving someone your full name in your profile — or even before you meet — immediately gives them digital access to your background. No full names until after you meet up. There is a way to communicate with your dates while simultaneously protecting your cell phoneand it doesn't involve buying a burner phone like you're Marvel's Jessica Jones.
Davis tells Bustle, "If you're concerned about giving out your phoneyou can create a free Google Voice. It's an app you download that gives you a separate to give to dates.
Online dating and staying safe
It's as simple as downloading this app and getting yourself a free Google voice. Everything on your phone will work exactly the same, but you'll just have an easier time blocking people if you need to. As Davis explained it, "When someone datings, it safe still ring on your cell phone and you can text through it as well.
If things go awry, it's very easy to block their. If you like myself are proud of the way you get to make money, then you probably keeping to shout online from the figurative mountaintops, and that's perfectly understandable. You've no doubt worked your butt off to get to where you are professionally, and wanting to celebrate all of your hard work makes sense.
11 tips for safe online dating
That said, when it comes to your online dating profileDavis suggests keeping things as vague as possible. As Davis points out, "Most apps will automatically pull in not just your job title, but your company. That's a huge security breech — imagine if someone were to show up unannounced at your office! Go into your Facebook settings and change this section so it's more vague.
I feel like this one is pretty obvious, but I wanted to bring it up anyway. If you want to safely date online, it's imperative that all of your first dates happen in public spaces.
In fact, it's not a bad idea to meet up somewhere outside of your neighborhood, either. If the two of you hit it off, then there will be plenty of time to Netflix and chill in the future. Hopefully you already know this, but having your OKCupid match pick you up for your first date is a horrible idea. Not only will they know where you live, you'll literally be in a car with a stranger.
So while there's something romantic and environmentally-conscious about sharing a ride with someone, when it comes to online datingit's always ideal to either drive yourself or take public transportation instead. Protect yourself by saving the t car rides for a later date.
10 tips for staying safe with online dating
Let me be clear about this: alcohol doesn't assault peoplepeople assault people. That said, I think most of us know from experience that it's much more difficult to stay aware of your surroundings and make good choices when you're drunk as hell. Also, hangovers are the worst. So instead of drinking five beers in five hours like I once did on a date, maybe stick to one nerve-settling glass of wine.
How to date online safely
Using your Facebook profile picture in your online dating profile may seem harmless, but it really isn't. It's way too easy for someone to run a Google image search on your photos, and in turn, find out a whole crap-ton of personal information about you.
So no matter how strong your Instagram game is, make sure the selfies you use in your online dating profile can't be found anywhere else on the Internet. You also might want to avoid the option on Tinder that allows you to link your profile with your Instagram.
Online dating advice
Telling your buddy about your upcoming date is a good start, but if you really want to stay safe, give them plenty of details about your plans. Online you head out to keeping your potential lover, text one or more of your friends the name and address of your deated meeting spot, safe send them a dating to your date's online dating profile, and set up a time to check in with each other after your date. This way, if anything sketchy happens, at least someone will know when to start looking for you and where to do it. In the far more likely scenario that nothing bad happens, just knowing that your friends have your back will probably help you relax and enjoy your date more than you otherwise would have.
Not everyone is comfortable with carrying a weapon, and that's fine. Personally, I'm a fan of pepper spray, and I carry it with me often. I've never actually had to use it, and I hope I never need to, but it does make me feel safer.
If you're looking for ways to feel safer while dating onlinethen you might want to start carrying the stuff, too. Just, you know, make sure you learn how to use it first.
If you didn't follow my advice about meeting somewhere outside of your neighborhood, then at least make sure you don't let your date walk you home. I know late-night strolls with beautiful people are romantic AF, but you don't want someone you literally just met to know where you live.
So if your date offers to walk you home, politely decline. I know, I know, it sounds super paranoid.
It's always better to be safe than sorry, though, and online dating is no exception to this rule. By Elizabeth Enochs. Google Yourself.