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Navigating Online Dating Apps

Tips for Successfully Using Online Dating Apps

Thanks to online dating apps like Tinder, Grindr, Plenty of Fish, and Match.com, meeting new people has become as easy as clicking a mouse or tapping a button on a smartphone. It’s no longer necessary to immerse yourself in real-life situations in order to meet the person of your dreams. However, with this newfound ease in matchmaking, there also comes a significantly elevated safety risk. Dating apps and websites are one of the most common sources of scams and other internet threats. These are five tips for keeping yourself and your finances safe while using dating apps.

1. Always search for the match on social media. It’s safe to assume that any person who is tech-savvy enough to use a dating app is likely also a user on at least one social network. Therefore, it’s a good idea to make a connection on social media before any physical encounters happen. Consider it a warning flag if you either can’t find the individual on major social networks or they neglect to share their social media profiles with you.

2. Arrange to meet your date. Never accept a stranger’s offer to pick you up on the first date. Not only does this reveal the location of your home, but it also nearly deprives you of any chance of leaving your date in the event that it becomes stale or suspicious.

3. Reserve the first date for a daytime activity. Quite simply, nighttime offers a dark cover for foul play to happen. For this reason, it’s a good idea to avoid dinner, clubbing, or a walk in the park at night for your first date.

4. Ask your date to meet in public. As a rule of thumb, you should avoid people who push for private meetups on the first date. It’s never possible to be completely sure of a potential date’s motives, and it’s your job to ultimately keep your safety as the number one priority. If your date doesn’t want to meet in a public setting or seems hesitant about it, dump them and move on.

5. Lastly, keep a friend or family member informed about your date. You can create an even better layer of protection if this person can be physically nearby when the actual date occurs. This way, they can easily seek help and/or step in if things go awry.