You’re not alone. The New York Times took a peek into the slew of apps, agencies and laws are springing up to deal with issues like that one.
Companies promising $10 background checks for people who don’t think Google will tell them everything they need to know about that charmer they met on online dating site are just the beginning — apps like Date Check promise to give you the lowdown in the time it takes to go to the bathroom and “redo your lip gloss.”
So now you know that your date might not only be running a background check on you when he goes to the bathroom — he could also be putting on lip gloss in there.
The state of New York passed the Internet Dating Safety Act, which requires dating sites to post helpful common-sense safety tips for their users, like “meet in a public place,” and that goes into effect later this month. So it seems (for residents of New York, New Jersey, and other states with similar legislation) the world of online dating just became a little bit less like the Wild West and a little bit more like someplace where you might not accidentally go out for cocktails with a pedophile. Cheers to that!
One of the biggest strength of any online dating service is the anonymity that it provides. Unfortunately, however, this strength is also its biggest weakness. You will never completely know who you’re interacting with until you’ve met and spent some real time with them. This can obviously be dangerous unless it’s handled with real care and consideration. Several online chat rooms have closed because of this very reason.
However, we do believe that using online dating services can be safe and enjoyable, so long as you follow some simple rules and hold your own safety in the highest regard – above all else. If you have to make sacrifices because of this, then so be it. You will find that dating service members will appreciate you taking an interest in your safety, because it adds to the safety of the online dating service community as a whole.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, but follow these points as a base:
- Never under any circumstances give out your personal details.
- If another member wants to talk to you by phone, then don’t give out your number. Get the number of the person that wants to talk to you instead. Protect yourself.
- If you’re not a sceptic, now’s the time to become one. Question everything you read and hear.
- Never meet someone alone. Preferably go as a member of a group of people.
- Make use of organised singles events in your area that are specifically organised by the larger online dating services.
- If you are meeting with someone, you’ll probably be nervous. Never drink alcohol to calm your nerves. Make sure your powers of judgement remain clearly focused throughout.
- Always be weary of bits of information that seem too good to be true.
- Never be persuaded to do anything you’re not completely comfortable with.
Use good common sense throughout and you shouldn’t have any problems. The larger dating services such as those featured on the front page of this site really do work very hard to insure that they provide a safe environment for you to enjoy. You are also likely to be provided with more information on insuring your safety after you’ve joined. Be sure to read it all with care. Enjoy online dating! Let’s get on with things…