A youand.me user e-mailed us some dating safety tips:
Safety Tips – For Meeting a Online Dating Site Mate
Online dating sites have become hugely popular, withglobal annual usage figures into the hundreds of millions. Theconvenience of organizing ones love-life from a home PC, combined witha reassuring level of anonymity, have made online dating sites asocially acceptable, viable lifestyle choice when it comes to seekingout a new partner.
Emails and chat messages do not convey body language,or inflexions of speech, and it is possible to obtain a very erroneousunderstanding of the person you’re conversing with if that person isdeliberately misleading you.
There are warning signs to watch for before anymeeting takes place, and there are sensible precautions which canreduce the risk of such a meeting to virtually nil.
The biggest area of online dating sites crime isfraud – money scams. No matter what circumstances the person claims tobe in, any mention of a loan, or handout, from someone you barely know,is highly likely to be the request of a scam artist. Such cases shouldbe treated by ending the correspondence.
One of the biggest irritants of the online dating isspam. If someone sends a first-time private message asking for youremail address, or otherwise seems unusually eager to gain thisinformation, the chances are they’re connected with marketing – thisperson/company will have lists of email addresses, and be selling themoff in bulk to rival companies. Giving such a person your details willlead to an inbox full of dating related spam. Easy enough to counter -keep your email to yourself until you know a little more about whoyou’re dealing with.
And finally, the least likely occurrence, but thebiggest threat: dangerous individuals. Like with the money situation,every online dating mate whom you meet face-to-face should be treatedthe same – meet only in a public place, preferably with people you knowpresent. Some people seeking a date with you will have a naturalaversion to meeting up in too much of a hectic environment – fearsperhaps of not being able to get in on conversations between oldfriends, or fears over the possibility of sniping from a secret admireror venomous ex.
However, any sane online dating mate will agree tomeet in a public place, and anyone who pushes for a private meeting isbeing creepy – that’s the big warning sign.
ONLINE DATING SAFETY TIPS
IT’S WISE TO PLAY IT SAFE: [IMPORTANT] ADVICE FOR PROTECTING YOUSELF ONLINE AND OFF
By Samantha Brewer
Onlinedating can be a lot of fun. We get that little email “ding” meaningsomeone’s checked us out and wants to meet. Or we roam the profiles ofpossible matches to see who generates a spark. There’s a whole world ofpossibilities but it’s anonymous until we turn it into a personalconnection. Just like the offline universe, it has its share ofdangers. While women have special concerns about safety (more on thisbelow), both sexes can benefit by following commonsense approaches todating online.
The most fundamental advice is to go slow onrevealing personal information. Online dating allows us to get to knowa lot about people before we meet them but this can give us a falsesense of security. The chance we’ll expose ourselves to danger beginswith the way we present ourselves online.
USERNAMES AND PROFILES
Nothinggood is achieved with a username or headlines that are overly sexual orsuggestive. They’re an invitation that may attract the wrong kind ofattention and they set a tone that encourages inappropriate behavior.Avoid this in your choice of username and headline, and be extremelywary when you come across it in another.
Make sure your profile doesn’t reveal contactinformation or easily identifiable personal details. There’s no need tooffer specific information about where you live or work. Describe yourlocation in a general way if possible. The name of the big city youlive in or near is sufficient; you don’t have to identify the suburb orneighborhood.
Of course you should also keep in mind that theglowing profile of someone you’re checking out also has an anonymousauthor. It may go well beyond the standard array of modestexaggerations and provide patently false information. For example,surveys suggest that between ten and thirty percent of the people usingonline dating services are married.
THE ONLINE DATING CONNECTION and COMMUNICATION BEGIN
So you’ve winked at each other, one of you has openedthe conversation and you’ve checked out his or her profile. It lookspromising; a little excitement is in the air as you begin communicatingonline. This is not a time to let your guard down.
Continue to be careful about providing detailedpersonal information address, e-mail and phone number. If you gooffsite to further the communication, use an email account that doesn’tidentify you. Some people open an account solely for dating by usingone of the free services. During these exchanges it’s time to ask for arecent photo if you haven’t already seen one.
There are ways to check people out online and there’snothing wrong with using them. Stop the dating conversation at any timeif you uncover disturbing or misleading or conflicting information orfeel uncomfortable or uneasy. Any mention of a loan, or asking formoney, from one of the YOUAND.ME members, will be treated as a scamand you should end the correspondence. Youand.me is determined to keepits site as safe as possible and you’re encouraged to report anyexamples of abuse.
SO YOU’VE GONE OVER TO VOICE
Safety experts often suggest using a public phone forearly conversations and recommend giving out your cell phone numberrather than your work or home number. Voice contact is an opportunityto get to know someone better, and we recommend using youand.me’s phonechat and video chat. Instead of reading text we get to hear the otherperson’s voice—and that can tell us a lot.
We can learn from the tone of a person’s voice andtheir unrehearsed response to questions. Are they vague in theiranswers or even avoid answering at all? Are there inconsistencies,inappropriate suggestions or flashes of anger? Do calls only happen atodd hours or in hushed tones? Listen to your instincts. Better safethan sorry.
A WOMAN’S FIRST DATE
Well, it’s that time. After all, the point is to getto meet someone and connect in person. While we need to be vigilantabout safety issues they needn’t stand in the way of meeting up inperson.
First dates raise particular concerns for women, ofcourse, and the advice to be cautious about revealing too much personalinformation certainly applies. Here’s a quick checklist of sensibleprecautions.
• The date should take place in a familiar public setting.
• Tell someone about where, when and with whom you’re meeting up.
• Arrange your own transportation—there and back.
• Bring money for emergencies and be prepared to go “Dutch.”
• Bring your cell phone. (Turn the ringer off; it’s for outgoing help.)
• Stay sober. And don’t stay out too late.
• Don’t leave your personal belongings unattended and order a new drink if your last one has been out of sight.
• Refuse to be pressured in any way.
There’s every chance the first date will turn outwell. It’s often fun getting to know someone new. It can set us off ondelectable fantasies and exhilarating hopes for the future. But itdoesn’t and probably shouldn’t happen too quickly. As excited as we maybe about a new love interest, there’s a world of tomorrows to lookforward to. Savor these early, getting-to-know-you times; they’re apart of the relationship that only happens once.
A NOTE TO MEN ABOUT WOMEN AND SAFETY
There’s no reason to be offended by the attentionwomen place on safety. In fact, there’s a bonus in it for you (seebelow). Most women understand that the majority of men are considerateand not out to harm them, but this is one of those situations where afew bad apples spoil the crop. Women have deep, hard-wired instinctsfor self preservation and it’s a fact of nature that women can bephysically vulnerable. Many have had unpleasant or even dangerousencounters, been harassed, even stalked.
Conveying a sense of security and trust can deliverbig dividends for men. Make your date feel safe. Trust can open thefloodgates for a woman. Feeling safe and secure and trusting thesituation she’s in frees a woman to be herself, allowing her to let go.You’ll both come out winners.
The online dating world is filled with enchantingpossibilities. Keep common sense safety issues in mind. Trust your gutinstincts. And let the adventure begin!
Samantha Brewer is a researcher and freelance writer specializing in modern dating and relationship topics.
Samantha Brewer is a researcher and freelance writer specializing in modern dating and relationship topics.
Onlinedating becomes more popular each day, with millions of singles loggingon each day and spending billions of dollars every year! Now, conartists have taken notice and want to cash in, too. Everyday, onlinedating scammers make $3000 off of single women and men that they’vetricked into sending them money. Forevery success story you hear about someone finding love online, thereare at least a few who have some horror stories to tell. You can avoidbeing one of these victims, if you just keep your eyes peeled for sometell-tale signs.
Themost obvioust thing to watch out for is any mention of money. No normalperson would ask someone they’ve never met for money. They will usemany excuses. A sick parent or an eviction notice will suffice as aplausible cause to send money, and since they’ve played on yourheartstrings, they feel that they can get the money out of you byappealing to your sympathy. Another tactic they use is asking for moneyfor airfare to come see you, with no actual intentions of making thetrip. But, don’t fall for it. As soon as the issue of money is raised,be on guard.
Payclose attention to their user photo. Many scammers use photos of modelsor very attractive individuals that they’ve pasted from other websitesor magazines. Alternately, they’ll steal a photo from another person inorder to seem authentic. If the photo seems too good to be true, itprobably is. Listen to your gut, if something doesn’t seem right.
Also,scammers can be characterized by their enthusiastic curiosity. Whilethey refuse to offer up any details about themselves, they willcontinually ask your questions about you and your life. This may createan alluring mysteriousness in some cases, but be on the lookout if yourmatch is unwilling to share any of their own life stories.
Finally,look out for inconsistencies in their communication patterns. When youare emailing back and forth, you may notice a change in their writingstyle, font detail and even language. It is very possible that theperson you’re speaking with may be more than one person.