Online dating is a near-perfect way to meet your other half, yet in the way, you also risk exposing yourself and your information to harmful third parties.

Whether it is from your dating website or your potential partner, you need to take the necessary steps to guarantee your safety.

01. Do your due research before anything.

Research the website or app you’ll use and check the experience of other users. Likewise, run a profile check on the person you’ll meet for the first time - just enough to guarantee they are whom they claim to be.

02. Don’t share your social media profiles too fast.

Whether it is with the dating website itself or with anyone who checks your profile, abstain from sharing your social media too early.

Most social media accounts display a significant amount of private information that could pose a risk to your well-being if leaked to the wrong party.

03. Go for a Google Voice number first.

You’d be surprised at how much information a phone number can hold.

To prevent privacy breaches, avoid sharing your personal phone with potential dates before establishing mutual trust. Google Voice is a much safer alternative.

04. Meet in a public space.

During first dates, avoid meeting in your home or places too close to it, as it can compromise your safety should your partner be dangerous.

Instead, try to gather in a public space or a hotspot in your city.

05. Always review your privacy settings.

Dating websites and apps collect a significant amount of information about you, so don’t trust them blindly.

Make sure to review your privacy settings to guarantee your data is not shared without your permission.

06. Do not let your date drive you.

You shouldn’t let your date pick you up at your home or drive you to a secondary location after your initial meeting, as it can expose you to dangerous situations you cannot control.

Avoid changing locations, but if you must, then opt for public transport.

07. Make sure to talk or video-chat before the first meeting.

The best way to avoid a scam, trick, or a potential catfish case is to talk and video chat with your partner beforehand to make sure they are who they claim to be.

Similarly, a complete refusal to agree to this simple condition should be taken as a red flag.

08. Always tell a third person your whereabouts.

If you plan on meeting with someone for the first time, tell a trusted person where you are going, your date, and the time you expect to be back.

It is an extra layer of security and comfort in case of a bad date.

09. Read the terms and conditions.

Understand your dating app or website by reading the terms and conditions. Only then will you know whether or not they have your best interests in mind.

Issues such as security, information, and customer support are must-know before you start your online dating process.

10. Don’t neglect your common sense.

Finally, remember to exercise general precaution measures. Avoid oversharing details about yourself, or providing data that can expose your full identity, location, working place, amongst others.

Common sense during online dating is quintessential for a successful experience.

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