Is Meeting Someone Online Safe?
I’ve recently registered on a few online dating sites and I have started meeting people that I have found to be genuinely interesting. So far, my interaction with them has not gone beyond chatting online. There is one person, however, that I find to be extremely compatible. We’ve chatted about getting together for coffee or drinks. Even though this person seems beyond charming online, are there any precautions that I should take? Is meeting someone online really safe?
The question about safety and personal security surrounding online dating is a common and valid one. The majority of online dating sites take great precautions to safeguard the accuracy of the information that users post on their profiles. That being said, however, it cannot be denied that the first time you meet in person you are essentially meeting a stranger.
While that might sound a little spooky, it is not too far removed from when you meet a blind date or when you hook up with somebody at a club. As a matter of fact, to a certain degree, meeting someone online allows you to get a feel for the person before you meet face-to-face. Usually, the topic of a personal meeting does not come up until after you have chatted with a person for a lengthy period of time.
Even so, you should always take certain precautions before that first meeting. Try and have it in a very public place. If possible try and make the first meeting during daylight hours. Also, always let somebody you trust know where you will be and who you will be with. Some people take the additional step of bringing a friend along when they first meet their new date. While this latter step might seem extreme — if it makes you feel comfortable go ahead and do it.
As an added measure of safety, there are personal monitoring apps available for your smartphone which you can discreetly activate in the event that you feel uncomfortable. These will notify those personal contacts that you have selected about your situation and will also provide them with your current GPS location.
Provided that you follow these tips and also apply basic common sense, meeting somebody online does not bring with it any security concerns that are not already present in normal dating.
We hope this soothes your anxieties about online dating.