But this is a Science site - who needs safety tips?
Just because we cater to a more intellectual audience doesn't mean you
should cast your common sense to the 4 winds ~
always be careful, and take your time.
some tips for safer online dating. These tips are not to be taken as a complete guide, or a guarantee of any kind. You are always in charge of your own safety when dealing with others on the internet.
THE FIRST ONLINE ENCOUNTERS
Be careful about the personal information
you give out when you first meet someone online.
Don't supply your last name, outside email
address, home address, phone number, place of work, or other
identifying information in your initial emails. Be aware that phone technology may allow someone to see your identity or location. If anyone
tries to pressure you into revealing personal
information, it's a red flag... There's no hurry -
take your time and expect honorable, forthright
behavior. Be aware of spammers / scammers - if anyone ever asks you for money, or to make a financial transaction of any kind - stop communicating with them immediately and notify us.
AS YOU GET TO KNOW EACH OTHER
Trust your feelings, and move cautiously.
As you correspond, be on the lookout for strange behavior
or inconsistencies. Ask questions and make sure you are
satisfied with the answers. If you think someone is
full of bs, or tends to steer the conversation
towards unwelcome themes, walk away. Take all the time
you need before moving to a more personal relationship.
WHEN THERE'S MUTUAL INTEREST
Resist becoming prematurely personal or intimate
with someone. Remember, in the desire to find companionship, it
is very easy to lead yourself to believe you
know someone better than you really do, so take
your time! Photos will help you get a more accurate idea of
someone's personality, so ask for pictures in different settings.
Always talk to someone on the phone before meeting with them.
Talking by telephone will give you
a much more accurate insight into your new friend's personality, character, and
Call from a pay phone or a phone with
Caller ID blocking until there is trust. Be aware that now or in the future, there may be phone technology which defeats caller ID blocking, or lets the other person see your location. Listen
to the person you are getting to know, and pay close
attention to what they say. Ask
questions and be sure that you are satisfied with the
THINKING ABOUT MEETING IN PERSON
Meet when YOU are ready - do not
be pressured into it! Any kind of pressure to meet
should be a big red flag to you - do not tolerate it,
and don't be afraid to change your mind about meeting.
If someone argues about meeting, finds flaws in your
thinking, or pressures you, don't meet with them. Sensitive
people understand the risks involved with online
dating, and will respect any caution you convey.
Make your first meeting in a public setting - don't meet at
your residence, or theirs. Tell
someone where you are going and when you will return, and leave your date's
name and phone number with that person. Don't have your
date pick you up - instead, drive to the meeting place yourself,
so if the date isn't working for you, you can leave.
If you decide mid-date to go somewhere
else together, drive yourself.
Be safe until you are completely comfortable with someone.
When meeting outside your area: If you're flying in,
make your own transportation and lodging reservations,
and keep them to yourself. Don't meet your date at your
hotel. If the meeting location chosen seems unsafe
or inappropriate to you when you arrive there, go back to your hotel.
Always make sure a friend or family member
knows your plans and has your contact
information. If possible, carry a cell phone at all