Online or virtual dating has never more prevalent than today. Advances in internet and smartphone technology ensured that you are online pretty much wherever you go. Along with the proliferation of dating apps for free, pretty much anyone with a smartphone and a data connection can go online and claim to be whoever they want to be. Following some safety tips here AND your common sense will help keep you safe online.

    First off, choose the app or website wisely. Do some research and make sure to find out as much as you can about the site or app itself. Look at forums, site reviews and social media connections to the app or site itself. If the site claims to be as good or as reliable as they claim, chances are someone will confirm it in the comments or in the reviews. Another safety precaution when joining these sites is to have some preset email or profiles that are not too revealing about your personal data, such as information on where you live or work. It might seem counterproductive, but you can always share these bits of information when you get to know the person on a more deeper level. Limit personal details to the bare minimum is all I am saying.

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   Before going out on an actual date with a person you meet online, get on the phone and call them up. A voice call with gives you a feel of the person you are talking to better than an online window chat. Ask as many awkward questions as you can and how they answer will give you a sense of how he would react when you are face to face with him.  Watch out also for red flags, such as if the person is already asking you for personal details too soon. It is a good idea to dig a little deeper online for a person’s profile and social media connections. Sometimes just confirming that he used his actual person is such a good thing to find out these days.

    Another that your common sense, instead of this article should tell you is that you should be meeting in a safe and public place. Tell friends that you will go out with him and let him know that you told someone. Chances are this would deter anyone who initially plans to do you harm in the first place. Also Lay off the alcohol please. DUring the first few dates or in any date at all, do not let yourself be vulnerable by passing out in a car because you are too drunk to take care of yourself.