The Dangers and Risks of Internet Dating

The Dangers and Risks of Internet Dating

by Shannon Stanton

About Shannon Stanton

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Shannon Stanton has been an avid writer for over 15 years. She entered her first writing contest in the sixth grade and pursued her interest in writing and literature through college, where she was staff writer and editor on her school's newspaper. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and in history from Mount Holyoke College.

An online dating site can be a useful platform to meet articulate and interesting people in your area. However, there are real risks and dangers to dating via the Internet. It is helpful and advisable for people considering meeting and starting relationships with people on the Internet to properly research and consider any potential threats. Exercising extreme caution is necessary.

Identity Theft

When speaking to strangers online, using common sense and a sense of caution is mandatory. It is never wise to give out any personal information, such as phone numbers, addresses, credit card numbers, social security numbers, or birth dates, about you, your family or your friends while in an online format. If this information is given, it becomes virtually easy for that person or others that you may not be aware of to steal your identity. Also note that if a person asks for any of your personal information, you should stop speaking to them immediately.

Personal Endangerment

Internet dating sites contain a variety of people, and some of those individuals are predators looking for unsuspecting victims. Warning signs of a psychologically deranged individual may be someone you cue into quickly; they may write incoherent or threatening messages to you or others, or they may admit to a violent past. However, more often than not, predators disguise themselves and come across as kind and charming in the beginning. However, note that if the person sounds too good to be true, they probably are, and that is a warning sign to avoid them. To help avoid bringing any danger upon yourself or others close to you, take time to get to know the person as thoroughly as you can before you decide to meet them. When a meeting time has been discussed, be sure to meet in a very public place, such as a restaurant, and alert your family and friends to where you're going, who you're going with and when you expect to return. Give the person's name and phone number, so they have some information if anything happens.

Child Endangerment

Children and young teenagers are often targets on the Internet for pedophiles. Children may go into chat rooms to talk with people their age. Child sex offenders actively look for young girls and boys on social networking sites and chat rooms. With children's trustworthy natures and the anonymity of the Internet, sex offenders often try to exploit them by accessing these sites. To avoid offenses, parents should carefully monitor their children's Internet access. They should sit down with their younger children as they go online and speak with them about the importance of being careful while using the Internet. Placing blocks on certain sections of the internet is one way to avoid sexual deviants getting access to children's information.

Health Risks

Married individuals and those committed in long-term relationships often browse dating websites looking for opportunities to begin affairs. It is essential to be aware of the health risks involved. Meeting people online is not only dangerous to your mental health, but it's just as dangerous for your physical health since some sexually transmitted diseases are incurable or even deadly. This is a huge risk to those individuals legitimately interested in finding a compatible dating match online. With multiple people meeting and dating countless others, the risks for contracting a sexually transmitted disease are very likely. Exercise caution and be wary of those who may admit that they have met and dated multiple individuals online. This is especially important if they want or expect a sexual relationship from you because it means they have likely wanted or expected that type of relationship from others online. If they have participated in this type of activity, they may plan on continuing it in the present and future. Realize that even if they say they haven't, it doesn't mean they are telling you the truth. You are the one who needs to take the necessary steps to protect yourself.

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