Playing Safely On The Internet
Copyright Feb 2014 (c) Stephanie Constantina, Staff writer here at SingleDating.com
Do you remember the good old days, when the Internet was young and people went online full of the excitement of playing with a new toy or a new game, expecting everything to go swimmingly...?
Well the truth is that the Internet is certainly a valuable thing and a very useful thing too, but it was never a completely safe place, even in the 'good old days'. Nowadays people are much more aware of the issues not only of Internet safety in general but also of online dating safety.
This is a very good thing, as understanding that there are dangers out there takes you half-way to being prepared to avoid them. This is a much better situation to be in than in the early days of the Net when dating safety was not considered as well as it might be.
You may well be more 'Internet-savvy' now, but perhaps this is a good time for a brush up on dating safely online. There's always the good chance too that you are going to learn something here that you didn't already know, something that will stand you in good stead when you interact with all the exciting singles over at PenPalsPlanet.com (to interact with them just use the search panel on the right, as you already know).
So, what's new? You
already know that when you begin dating someone online you should only
do so through the interface at the dating site or by email. You know not
to give them your phone number and certainly not your address in the early
stages of the relationship in particular.
Once you have got to know someone quite well and been on a date with them several times then you can, if you trust them, begin to let them know more about you. Of course, it has to be said, that no-one is ever 100% safe in any relationship. Things can still go badly wrong after years of marriage. But we aren't looking at relationships in general on this page, just at dating safety online.
Have you developed the asking questions mindset when it comes to meeting new people online? You should as it is only by asking questions that you can suss out if things don't seem quite right with somebody you're getting to know (and this applies offline too, of course). Despite all the best efforts of the more responsibly run dating sites to exclude scammers from their systems a few inevitably slip through, masquerading as they do as legitimate singles seeking a date. By the way, you can read more about how to recognise and avoid such cons at our page on 3 online dating scams to avoid.
Of course, with online dating you need to be honest in what you say in the photos of yourself that you show to others and you've a right to expect the same of those singles you are interacting with. If you ask questions and get 'fuzzy' answers or even apparent contradictions to what was said before then you need to proceed with great caution when it comes to that individual. There are places you can get people checked out if necessary -- a background check is what I mean here -- and you will find links to such services further down this page.
Talking with someone on the phone before you go dating them is always a good idea. It is one step up from communicating by email and so more will be revealed about the person through such things as tone of voice, evasive comments if any and not having time to consider what they say, as they would in an email.
Don't rush into anything and don't be pressured into going on a date with someone you are not completely comfortable with. Don't allow yourself to be pressured, period. Take your time, check out who you are going to date and when you do go on a date make it a safe lunch date the first time, in a place where there will be lots of people. Always tell someone else who you trust where you are going and who you are going to meet. There's no point in taking chances and the person you feel comfortable with online may turn out to be very different in person. It happens, be aware that it happens.
Also, before you go on a date with someone you have met online, always get their full name, address and phone number -- this applies particularly if you are a woman. Once you have the phone number find an excuse to call unexpectedly as there is always the chance that the man is actually married and you will get his wife on the phone. You may think you are being overly suspicious, but you just can't be too careful.
You know that you must meet someone for the first time in a public place, well it follows that you should not allow him to pick you up from your house. You don't want him to know where you live until you get to know him a lot better. He is, after all, a stranger, no matter how many times you've chatted to him online. Likewise don't take him back to your house after the date, that's just common sense, isn't it.
If you are careful and act wisely you can meet some great people to date online, but when emailing people it is not the same as talking to them face to face so please apply the online dating safety advice given above.
Copyright Feb 2014 (c) 2012 Stephanie Constantina, our staff writer here at SingleDating.com. Text cannot be legally copied or used elsewhere as all rights are reserved. This article is exclusive to SingleDating.com.
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Carry out criminal background checks on anyone you are considering dating. This will not in itself prove that they are safe to date but should reveal if they have a criminal record.
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