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If you're dipping your toes in the dating pool in 2020, you're most likely jumping in online. Before you dive in, these safety tips could help save your life!

How to date safely online

Dating is an important part of our lives. The majority of us try to get ourselves out there, meet new people, and potentially find someone special, who will keep us good companionship. 

People have been utilizing various means of social interaction for centuries to achieve the ultimate goal – finding a lifelong partner. However, the times have changed and the dating scene has also been revolutionized

The rise of the internet gave the public an unprecedented platform for meeting new people and forging bonds. However, these connections tend to be short, weak, and quite sex-centric. 

Thousands of online dating platforms have emerged globally, allowing their users to go through an infinite number of profiles within their areas. This “date shopping” culture has caused a number of problems, including those concerning the safety of the users. 

The thing is that such platforms represent a perfect space for all kinds of people. There is practically no way of determining the intentions of users before they register and get on with dating. Therefore, many people, particularly women and members of the LGBTQ+  community are often being harassed, verbally abused, and even blackmailed on such apps.  

In our modern world, online dating often is the best way to find a perfect match. This is completely okay and works for millions of people around the globe. However, the awareness encompassing the potential risks has also increased alongside the popularity of internet dating. 

People now acknowledge the risks more and try to be safer. However, not too many of us are aware of some basic rules and actions that can prevent certain inconveniences from occurring. In this article, we discuss some of the primary principles everyone should follow before getting on with their online dating adventure. 

Choose the dating platform wisely

Technology is the future, as much as it is the present. The number of different online dating platforms is increasing on a daily basis. We have more options than ever before to find someone with similar interests. Among those apps, there certainly are the big players. 

Alikes of Tinder and Grindr attract millions of users globally, forming an online world of dating. However, the scale of the platform does not quite guarantee safety and inclusivity for users. 

These large-scale platforms have commonly been subject to criticism for doing next to nothing to protect their users from online harassment. Under such circumstances, choosing a platform wisely could be a tremendous help in avoiding unwanted interactions. 

Bumble is a great platform for safer online dating experiences. The app was founded by a woman entrepreneur Whitney Wolfe. Her goal was to ensure a safe space for women on the platform. Only women can initiate contact on Bumble, giving them the much-needed authority and the space to judge men based on their profiles. 

For queer people, Taimi is an absolute winner. Their website is https://taimi.com, which lets us know about the unique features of the platform. The dating app is taking pride in inclusivity, offering a safe space to all members of the LGBTQ+ community.

 Importantly, the app incorporates the social networking aspect into itself. This way, users have an opportunity to connect more with people, share the news, updates and keep up with others. 

Thoroughly check the profiles and don’t hesitate to use the block function 

Catfishing is not a difficult thing to do. With unlimited online resources, anyone can easily sign up on a dating platform with a stolen identity. Unfortunately, such cases are not rare. 

Many people use fake pictures, names, and even social media accounts to get what they want. Therefore, when chatting with someone new, try to investigate their social media and pictures thoroughly. 

If you suspect that there is something wrong with the profile and the person sounds like a scammer, block them immediately. Yes, you might be wrong, but do you really want to take your chances? Remember that safety must be your number one priority in all cases. 

Red flags to be aware of 

There are certain behaviors on online dating platforms that are immediate, big red flags under any circumstances. Keep in mind that these apps and websites exist for the purpose of meeting with new people and finding a potential match. 

Anything that goes beyond the boundaries of these purposes can be deemed suspicious. If you notice that the user is trying to play with your emotions, or is getting a little too personal at an early stage, block them immediately. 

Some other common characteristic behaviors of a scammer can include asking for financial assistance, trying to sell you certain products or services, or offering money for explicit photographs. In these cases, do not share any of your personal or financial information with the user. 

Such messages and requests are usually enough to report the user to the platform’s customer support group. Make sure to block them too, in order to avoid any further interference with them. 

Besides these, there also are some quite obvious red flags that the majority of us can sense immediately. If a person is demanding pictures, threatens, or verbally abuses you, block them without giving it a second thought. Such individuals are often there to waste your time, which is no good for you. If a person is a minor, report them to customer support too. 

Is online dating worth it? 

For many people, online dating has proven to be a great way of finding a reliable, stable partner. Yes, there are many difficulties and challenges on similar platforms. However, if we take adequate precautions, such inconveniences can easily be prevented.

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