Online dating can be an exciting experience for those who are tired of looking for love in conventional places. But the rise of online predators has created a genuine cause for concern. According to Bill Rathburn, president of Rathburn & Associates, a comprehensive security planning and operations firm, "an increasing number of criminals, including sexual predators, find their victims on the Internet." So while browsing profiles on the latest dating site may be fun, it is important to take precautions to ensure you catch an online predator before the predator takes advantage of you.
Avoid Being The Victim Of An Online Dating Predator
Check the profile name. If someone has a sexually explicit profile name, chances are they are just using the site to look for sex. If you are looking for something more meaningful, avoid these profiles at all costs.
Browse the profile. If it is full of pictures of half-naked people or explicit photographs, report the user to the site administrator.
Take things slowly. Online dating predators may be in a rush to move the relationship forward. If they are too quick to say "I love you," this may indicate they are trying to get too comfortable too soon.
Don't give out your contact information. If they express interest in wanting to communicate off the site, set up a junk email account for online dating. Keep track of emails and flag any messages that seem inappropriate.
Meet in a public place. Have a friend follow and sit at a nearby table. Do not go into any secluded areas. If something seems suspicious, have the friend call 911.
Things You Will Need
- Membership in an online dating site
- Junk email account
- Eharmony is a great online dating site that offers "guided communication." The site controls communication by giving the option of communicating through questions sent to the other person. Only after a series of questions is the couple allowed to move to "open communication" which allows for the exchange of emails on Eharmony's secure site.