We asked Stewart and Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, for their tips for enjoying dating sites while making sure you stay safe. If you’ve never used a dating site or app before, you might not know which one to pick.
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If you think you’re being too careful, you’re probably doing it right.
“If the person starts asking you for personal details too soon, being pushy about where he or she wants to meet up, or seeming too good to be true, do your homework,” Stewart says.
“You don't have to give your direct number,” Stewart says. “Don't mention specific places and times of places you go to,” Stewart says.
“Guard any personal information that could be used to track down your location or steal your identity until you really know someone.” For instance, your match does not need to know that you go to X gym every Friday.
So when can you trust this person enough to actually go out with him or her?
For Stewart, the answer is “if they are consistent, taking time to get to know you, and so far honest from what you can tell.” However, you can meet up while still guarding your information. Facebook gives out a ton of personal information about you that can be used against you in a number of ways.” Additionally, you can get to know the person without going into details about yourself.“Do a Google image search to see if his or her profile is using pictures pulled from somewhere or someone other than him or herself.” This is the first step, but if you are going to meet up with this person, it’s sometimes a good idea to dig a little deeper (see tip number five).If the person you’re talking to starts to make you feel uncomfortable, don’t try to be polite.Annie*, a sophomore at the University of California at Los Angeles, has been on a handful of dates with people she met on Tinder.“I always agreed to meet someone at a restaurant in [my college town] so I could walk myself there and back, which is a lot safer than going to a stranger's house,” Annie says.“Googling background searches will give you a wealth of options.