There is no doubt that online dating can put you in touch with some great people and you may just end up finding your Prince Charming or Dream Girl as the case may be. However, online dating is not without its risks. This is why I have put together these online dating safety tips which will help you to have a fun experience, while keeping yourself out of harms way.

1. Your safety lesson in online dating starts from your profile itself. Make sure not to reveal exact personal details (real name, telephone numbers, street addresses etc) in your profile for everyone to see. For the first few weeks you should communicate with other daters only through the message system that is available on the sites. This personal messaging system keeps your name and contact details anonymous so that you can get to know the other person without revealing your true identity. Once you feel you know someone well enough, you can then disclose your personal details and also set up a date. And in case you do end up communicating with someone who turns out to be a creep (they are unfortunately unavoidable), your real identity will be protected.

2. Once you do set up a date with an online friend, always ensure that you do not ask them to come over to your home on the first date itself. No, you should not even have them pick you up at home. Instead, arrange to meet up at the designated spot.

3. If you have a friend who is also into online dating, you could get together with your friend and have a double date. This way, you won’t be alone when you meet your online friend, and you will also have someone to get away with in case your date turns out to be a bore!

4. Never ever agree to have your first date in a private or secluded spot. You may think that this is very basic advice, but you’ll be amazed (perhaps shocked may be a better word!) to know that countless people still make this mistake and end up in prospectively dangerous situations. You should pick an open and public place for your date; say a restaurant, the park, etc. If you do decide to go to another place with your date, do not get into the car with them. Take your own vehicle or call and ask a friend to take you there. Yes, all this may seem like too much trouble, but better to be safe than sorry!

5. Avoid drinking alcohol on your first date. If you must, make sure you have just a couple of drinks and no more. Ask the waiter or the bar tender to serve you. If you have left the drink for any reason, perhaps to visit the rest room, do not have the same drink when you do return.

6. Before you leave for your date, make sure a friend or relative knows where you are going and when to expect you back. If something untoward does happen, you at least know that someone will be out looking for you.

Thus, by keeping these online dating safety tips in mind, you can rest easy that you are doing all you can to protect yourself. And with that worry off your mind, you are free to go out and have a whale of a time with your new online date!

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