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Online Dating Safety Precautions

Online dating can lead to offline friendship, love, and even marriage. Exchanging written correspondence is a great way to build loving, trusting relationships.

However, you could expose yourself to the risk of physical harm if you proceed without caution. You wouldn’t give a stranger on the street your name, address and telephone number.. don’t do it online! Protect yourself with the following common sense guidelines, and enjoy the start of what might become a very beautiful friendship.

  1. Remain Anonymous – Don’t give anyone online your real email address, last name, phone number, address or place of work during your early correspondence. Stop communicating with anyone who tries to pressure you into giving this information. Check with your ISP server and make sure that your Online Profile does not give out more personal information than you are comfortable with.
  2. Use email redirection services – Use free email providers and forwarding services such as Google, Yahoo! and Hotmail to keep your main email address private.
  3. Signature Lines – Don’t make the mistake I made when I started using online personal ads! Many of us use multiple signature lines for our personal and business email correspondence which include our phone numbers and addresses. I sent four ‘strangers’ my personal information by including my ‘personal’ signature line in email to them. I later learned that one of these men lives in my hometown! I was lucky, he respected my privacy. Please don’t take that chance.
  4. Nicknames – Call yourself ‘Pretty Woman’ and see how many men try to drag you into their private virtual hot-tub! Protect yourself against unwanted advances and use a gender-neutral nickname in chat rooms, discussion groups and on message boards.

As you can see, common sense is the key to staying safe during your online search for love.