5 Online Dating Safety Hazards Most People Overlook

Today, there are about 40 million people in America that use online dating services.  That’s almost 50% of the entire population of single fish in the sea.  With so many singles out there looking to connect, it can be tempting to rush into the online dating world.  Of course by now we’ve all heard horror stories about sociopaths, murderers and other dangerous individuals that use these sites as hunting ground.  While it’s true that there are risks associated with online dating, using safe dating techniques can help you navigate the sites securely and find other friendly, interesting singles in your area.  Here are 5 online dating safety hazards that you should keep your eyes open for:

  1. Catfish

A “catfish” is someone that creates a fake Facebook profile to link to their dating profile.  If you’re considering meeting up with someone, the first thing you should do is check out their social media.  Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat accounts are often linked and easily accessible.  Profiles with extremely little information, few pictures, and no linked social media should send up a red flag.  It’s possible that these are catfish, and they could have malicious intent.

  1. Privacy

While a romantic picnic or stroll on the beach sounds like a lovely first date, the first meeting should always be in a public place.  Anyone that tries to arrange a private meeting, or suggests secluded areas may have an ulterior motive in mind.

  1. Nighttime

It’s always best to meet up in the daytime, especially for a first date.  Spontaneous late night meetups are dangerous, so it’s best to plan ahead.  Get a coffee instead of a cocktail.  Which brings us to the next hazard…

  1. Alcohol

While it may be tempting to meet up for a few drinks with someone you’ve just matched with, you should use caution in these situations.  Alcohol impairs your judgement, and it gives assailants the perfect opportunity to slip something in your drink.  Also, you should avoid going on your dating profile if you’ve been drinking.  You don’t want to make any plans to meet up later in the night if you’re unable to properly assess the situation.

  1. Finances

First date conversation should be light, friendly, and about your (hopefully) mutual interests.  Talking about what you do for a living is usually a safe topic, but anyone that pries deeper into your financial situation might be assessing you differently.  Steer clear of any conversation involving funds.  That’s a topic for a later date.