How Safe Is Internet Dating?

by Brandi Laren

In the past, Internet dating was a cliche. It was a new niche in the dating world that was looked upon as desperate and even shameful by many people. Today however, Internet dating has become a popular pasttime. There are a variety of websites to suit all tastes, and there are many people across the country and the world who have found love online. However, just as in the regular dating world, dating on the Internet is not always safe. There are certain safety precautions that people must take when they're dating online.

Warning

There are horror stories in every aspect of the dating world, but in the online dating world the risk of these dating nightmares can be heightened. When people are dating online, they generally have no idea if the other people are telling the truth about their appearance and background until they meet face to face. This can make online dating more dangerous than regular dating, because the person on the other side of the computer screen could have a criminal background or look nothing like the pictures she has shown her potential dates.

Prevention/Solution

Unsafe Internet dating experiences can be prevented when people play it safe. Instead of meeting at one or the other's home, meet at a public place where a lot of people frequent, such as a popular coffee shop or restaurant. Take separate cars as well when you date people you've met online, just in case you need to make a quick escape.

Types

Sometimes it can be safer to meet someone on a social networking site, like Facebook. If the person is an actual friend of a friend and you're considering dating him, that can be a great way to find out more information about him. This is also a great and casual way for people to hook up their friends with friends.

Considerations

When you're meeting people online, keep the information that you give about yourself very general. Again, Internet dating can become dangerous when your information gets into the wrong hands. There have been situations where people have had their identities stolen by giving out too much information to potential mates on dating websites.

Misconceptions

While some teens may think it's safe to date on the Internet, they should stay away from it. There are online predators all over the country looking for ways to take advantage of naive and inexperienced teens. These dangerous online predators have spurred news stories of rape, kidnapping and murder all over the United States, as a result of teens meeting people in chat rooms and then meeting them places unbeknownst to their parents.

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