- Make careful choices before meeting people online.Couple sitting in the cafe image by Dmitry Goygel-Sokol from Fotolia.com
Safety tips for people meeting online are important because many people find friends or significant others online. According to the Dating Sites Reviews article "Current Online Dating and Dating Services Facts and Statistics," 17% of couples who married in 2010 met through an online dating site. People need to be careful before developing relationships with people they met online to prevent themselves from becoming the victims of online scams and dangerous situations.
Meet in a Public Place
- Never go to someone's house for any reason if you only know the person from online encounters. Many people who are purchasing large items from Craigslist meet at the seller's house, because lugging a large item to a public place is not possible. Meet the seller at a public place; after introducing yourself, pick up the item. A public introductory meeting gives you the opportunity to see whether the seller seems honest. People selling jewelry and applying for babysitting positions on Craigslist have been the victims of murders (see references 2 and 3). Protect yourself by never going to a strangers' house if possible. Also, never let a date from online pick you up at your house. If your date becomes infatuated with you, the situation could become dangerous.
Tell Someone Where You Are
- Always let a roommate, friend or family member know where you are going before meeting anyone you've met online. Give your friend the person's email address and phone number. If something happens to you, your friend can try to find you by contacting the person. Make plans to call and check in with your friend, and adhere to your plan no matter what you are doing. Don't be ashamed to tell friends you are meeting someone from online.
- Regardless of the length of time you have chatted, you do not honestly know the person. Do not trust someone you just met; let them earn your trust. Carry a protective tool like mace or pepper spray, if this is legal where you live, for worst-case scenarios.
Move Things Along Slowly
- Take things slowly to prevent yourself from becoming hurt emotionally. According to Dating Sites Reviews, people who have met online move their relationships to the next level more quickly than others. Having sex or getting married early in a relationship can create hardships. People are not always who they represent themselves to be; some people find that their significant other has lied about their income or values.