Our editors carefully select every product. If you buy from a link, we may earn a commission. Learn More.

How to Protect Yourself When Online Dating

Online dating apps can be lots of fun and help you find your future partner. They can also become your biggest nightmare if you encounter an ill-meant individual and unwittingly let them into your life.

Protecting yourself includes learning to identify fake profiles, refraining from oversharing, and cross checking the information you receive. It doesn’t hurt to do a little snooping on your future date, either. 

Identify fake profiles

Pictures that seem embellished or otherwise unnatural could be fake. Check them online using Google Images. Ask the person you matched with for specific and verifiable information. Watch their reaction very closely. If they give evasive answers, you might have caught them off guard.

Go over previous bits of information they’ve shared to check for consistency. Sometimes people will forget what they lied about, and that’s how you catch them.

Crosscheck any information you receive from matches

Be inquisitive and alert even if you meet someone on a dating app without any involvement or romantic interest. It helps to develop the habit of cross checking important information you receive. Users of dating apps often exchange white lies. Dating sites are sometimes used by pathological liars to give their imaginations free rein, undisturbed by social norms and standards.

If you try to verify the information you receive, your prospects of recognizing these social types increase considerably.

Resist the temptation to overshare

It’s tempting to share too much information on your profile, but overpopulating it is not a smart move. Not only does it make the profile’s owner appear insecure and needy, but it’s also risky for them. Scammers might use this information on their fake profiles.

When creating your profile, share only the bare minimum of personal data needed. It should not be identifiable or potentially discrediting.

Don’t be afraid to snoop

Let’s say you meet someone, and you’re considering a meeting in person. It’s a good idea to run a background check on your future date before taking your relationship offline. Tinder, the world’s most popular dating app, integrated Garbo’s people check feature into its Safety Center. If you google your match’s details, you might get enough details to make up your mind about meeting them in real life.

Still, a Google search will only reveal so much. You can open an account with a reputable screening service if you want more detailed and sophisticated reports.

Thanks to Tinder’s desktop website, all profiles appear in Google searches. Google your personal details regularly to see what information surfaces about you for the sake of your online safety.

For more reliable results, use a screening service’s reverse-checking feature. Request the search engine remove false or potentially harmful information and adjust your dating app’s privacy settings.

Check dating sites’ safety features

Most reputable dating sites offer tips and resources on safety. Read guides and articles on their blog or in their safety centers. Psychologists have penned some of them, and these professionally written materials can help you communicate effectively and make the most of your experience on the app.

If you’re unsure about which online dating app or platform to use, Online For Love can be a valuable resource to help you make an informed decision.Their group of dating experts offer  comprehensive reviews of various online dating apps and platforms for both casual and serious dating. Check any of their in-depth posts such as this one on Elite Singles dating platform review that covers the features, pricing, and user experience.

Cut ties with unpleasant users

Some users of dating sites have issues with communication, like moralizing, complaining, and other toxic behavior. As they are neither aggressive nor impolite, they don’t get reported by other users, but don’t waste your time with them.

Be careful on the first date

If you’ve followed all safety protocols, you might be ready to take the virtual relationship into real life. This is an important step. Being overly excited and optimistic can stop you from seeing obvious red flags. The first meeting in person should flow naturally, like an extension of your online discussions.

If things aren’t going well, don’t be afraid to leave. Have a plan for how to make a polite but quick getaway. Drive yourself to the first date and don’t drink or find another form of transport independent of your date.

Keep the dating app updated

Keeping your app up to date is very important in terms of safety. A profile that’s current on safety features is far less vulnerable to cyberattacks.

What do you think?

Written by Mark Greene

Mark Greene is writer and life coach dedicated to helping men to perform at peak level. He shares dating advice, style tips and strategies for building wealth and success.