If you’ve been single in this day and age, you know the dreadful realities of online dating. From the constant swiping and ghosting to foreboding headlines about The Tinder Swindler and West Elm Caleb, it can be an exhausting and, albeit a scary place—but that doesn’t mean you should give up.
Dating should be a fun and safe experience. Whether you think you’ve found The One and you’re ready to meet them in person or think you might be getting catfished, keep these online dating safety tips in mind when you’re swiping right.
#1.Do your own background check
The internet is your friend when it comes to online dating. Google your potential date and find their social media profiles (Hint: LinkedIn is a great tool to use since you can filter by occupation and location). Does everything they’ve told you about themselves check out? If you can’t find them online in 2022, that might be a red flag in itself.
#2. Be wary of model-like photos
Sure, they could actually look like a model in real life, but the reality is, the profile might be too good to be true. Run the images through a reverse Google Image search and see what comes up. On top of model-like photos, if they don’t have a bio and only have a job title like “CEO” or “Entrepreneur” save yourself from being catfished and swipe left on this one.
#3. Keep your phone number to yourself
Dating apps have messaging capabilities for a reason, and most offer voice and video chat options now, too. Why give your phone number to a stranger on the internet before you’ve met them in person? Not only is this a good way to establish boundaries from the beginning, but it also helps protect your privacy.
#4. Let someone know
Let a family member or friend know your plans and where you'll be meeting your online date. If you can, you might even share your location with them.
Can’t share your location? No problem. SABRE’s Personal Safety App (which connects to SABRE’s SMART Pepper Spray and is free to download) allows you to notify a friend or family member that you need help. SMART pepper spray is an added layer of protection that when sprayed automatically sends an alert to your selected contacts with your exact location, but the app can be used to send the alert without having to spray pepper spray.
#5. Meet in public
A public setting is a safer setting. When there are people around, you’re less likely to find yourself in a threatening situation. Pick a public place that you are familiar with—bonus points if your friend that you told is familiar with it, too.
Now that you’re prepared to safely online date before you meet up with a potential partner, how can you stay safe when you go on your first date? Stay tuned for our next dating safety blog, where we’ll share safety tips you can use when you’re ready to meet a potential match in real life.