Online Dating Safety Tips

With online dating being normal and more common now, you might be considering trying it. Chatting online can be fun, but how can you stay safe online and if you choose to meet up with the other person? Read on to find out my 10 online dating safety tips…

1. Don't Give Out Personal Information Too Quickly

You don't have to pretend you're in the CIA. You don't need to keep everything secret, but you don't need to tell them your whole life story either. And I'd be suspicious if they tell _you _too much right away.

Talking about your hobbies and general topics are good. Your childhood traumas or horrible breakup are better saved for close trusted friends and family members.

Also, please don't give out banking information or your SIN (social insurance number). It might also be a good idea not to post pictures of your kids either, if you have them.

2. Meet in Public

It might sound romantic to have them pick you up, but until you know they're trustworthy, it's better to meet in a well-lit public place, where there's other people.

If they want to go to a secondary location, trust your instincts and only go if you agreed beforehand and feel comfortable.

3. Let a Friend/Family Member Know

Pick a friend or family member that you trust and let them know you're going on a date. Hopefully you'll never be in danger, but better safe than sorry.

And if you need an excuse to get out of a bad date, they can give you the "emergency text".

4. Bring Your Own Money

This is only in case they stick you with the bill or if you need to get a cab home.

5. Take Your Own Vehicle

Or take your own vehicle, if you have one. It might be tempting to let them pick you up, like I mentioned above, but what if you want or need to leave suddenly?

6. Don't Overdrink

I know first dates are awkward, or if you're having fun you can lose track of time and drinks. Switch to water or pop in between drinks. And please eat a decent meal too.

7. Don't Leave Your Drink Unattended

Even if your date is a fine person, other people in a crowded bar (depending on where you live and if there's restrictions or not) might not be. Please finish your drink before you go to the bathroom or to dance.

8. Talk to the Bartender

If you truly feel unsafe, don't be shy about casually going to the bartender and calmly explaining the situation. A lot of them will help you without starting drama.

9. Have a Virtual Date

Or if you can't go out where you live, you might want to schedule a virtual date. Even if you can go out, you might be more comfortable getting to know them this way.

It's more intimate than chat, but if you don't like the situation, you can just call it a night right then and there, and not have to go anywhere...

10. Have Fun

Yes, it's important to be aware of your surroundings and what information you're putting out there, but you can still have fun and take sensible precautions too!