Staying safe when online dating…

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Hey There… 2017

With online dating season now in full swing it’s important to be a little cautious as the potential for danger lurks around every corner.  Scams are on the rise costing online daters more than just a broken heart.  Scams cost singles hundreds of millions of dollars every year.  But the hardships of online dating are not reserved for just criminal scammers.  Many online daters fall prey to serial daters that break hearts at every click.

A great article in the Chicago Tribune from Jackie Pilossoph describes an experience with one of her online dating friends and offers some great tips for staying safe.  

Pilossoph offers these valuable insights into online dating to protect your heart and well being…

“1. Be Mindful When Posting Pictures: Online dating means exposing your photos to thousands of men and women you know nothing about. So, while people always want to show off their children and express how much they love being a parent, it’s not worth strangers seeing the photos. Once you have met the person a few times and trust him or her, that’s when showing photos of your kids is great.

2. Talk to the person on the phone before meeting. Also, meet in a public place where you feel comfortable and take your own car.

3. Do a Google search and Google image search. These days, it’s so easy to check someone out yourself. Once you know the person’s last name, start with a Google Image search. You can learn a lot, most notably, if the person is assuming someone else’s identity or is pretending to be someone else (also known as “catfishing.”)

4. Don’t put your last name, your address or where you work on dating apps.

5. Use Facebook referrals. In other words, if you see that the two of you have mutual friends on Facebook, reach out to those people and ask about him or her.

6. Don’t use your regular cellphone or home phone. Instead, you can use a Google Voice account, which is a free service that you can easily sign up for at no charge. If you want to go a step further, there is a new app called Burner, which is a phone number that disappears if you choose to no longer allow this person to contact you.

7. Don’t share and check in where you are going on Facebook. Instead, post pictures when you get home. There is no need for anyone to know that you aren’t at home, especially someone you might have dated where the relationship ended badly.

8. Don’t spend too much time in a texting/phone relationship. After a few conversations or a couple weeks at the most, move it offline or move on to someone else.

9. Expect that you will meet people who disappear for no reason. It’s hard not to take things personally when dating, so if someone stops responding or is suddenly not on the app anymore, assume he or she either got back together with someone else or met someone special and decided to be exclusive. We would all like to hope that someone would give us an explanation, but that usually doesn’t happen. Try to move on and realize it was most likely nothing you said or did.”

No matter how experienced you are online always remember the hearts desire to find companionship and love can be blind to the dangers that await online.  It’s always great practice to keep a level head.  Whether you are online or off in pursuit of love always keep one eye open to guard against hurt, while keeping on eye closed to take a chance on the unknown.  Stay safe and best of love this 2017!

Full article from Jackie Pilossoph:  http://www.chicagotribune.com/suburbs/evanston/lifestyles/ct-evr-love-essentially-tl-0128-20160120-column.html

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