Guide to Safe

Online Safety

Dating & Safety

tips for success.

5) Are they hiding something? If the other person can only meet and chat with you in the middle of the night, they may have a secret. If you call them and they talk in a hushed voice or "have to go" all of a sudden, they may not be as single as they claim. If you call at a non-designated time and they get angry, feel free to assume that they're hiding something from you. Red flags are anyone who uses fancy footwork, excuses, or evasive maneuvers. If they cannot be honest with you from the get-go, don't count on them to ever be straightforward.

6) Do a simple background Google check and a sexual predator check like Paid services are nice but not very reliable.  Unless you have things like the date of birth, last few addresses and a full name, your results can be more harmful than helpful.

7 Moving to phone? Activate your caller ID blocking feature to keep your number private at first.  You can also use online apps that allow new phone numbers, text number and there is KIK for chat as well as many others. 

8 Don't put off meeting in person. While online relationships can be full of intrigue, your ultimate goal is to find a casual or serious partner. Why put it off? Why invest in a relationship online if it's going nowhere offline? Make sure the spark you get from your chat sessions and email also exists in the "real world". Red flags are anyone who puts it off or avoids answering your questions about meeting. And remember, if you do not have the money to invest in a long distance relationship, don't start one. Online dating requires that your brain and your heart work together to make the best and safest decisions for you. Just make sure somebody knows who, where and when you are meeting and makes a safe call at least once. Always meet in a public place like a coffee shop or library.  People are safer with other people. 

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1) Never, ever give out personal information. This may be the most important thing for you to remember. Your personal information includes your telephone number, date of birth, social security number, or address. If they want to send something to you through the mail, get a post office box or mail service. They're not expensive! No matter how nice the other person may seem, you do not know them. While most people are decent, you can never be absolutely sure. Don't risk having this information fall into the wrong hands.

2) Use a current picture. This may not exactly be a safety issue - but more of an honesty issue. Be honest and post a current photo even if you've gained a few pounds! If the other person's picture seems to be outdated, and they refuse to update it, you must put them in the "dishonest" pile. There's no reason for someone to lie, unless they're hiding something. Don't put up with their dishonesty.

3) Get the details. Feel free to scrutinize the emails and chat sessions you have with another person. If they seem too good to be true, they probably are. If they're vague about their life, try to get some non-intrusive details. Red flags are people who are vague, talk in circles, or answer questions with questions. They ask you more questions than they give answers about themselves. Be very cautious with these types of people. They may be playing hard to get, or they may not be someone you should continue communicating with.

4) As you chat, text or exchange emails online, ask the same questions in different versions and see if you get the same answers.  The truth much easier to remember than a lie and all answers should be consistent. Obviously you want to stretch the same questions out so it is more accurate and less noticeable.