Online Dating: How to Protect Your Privacy

Facebook’s mandatory timeline switch has many people concerned about their online privacy, especially those who date online. If you’re concerned about your friends, family and co-workers finding out private information about your life on any social media site, here are a few tips to protect yourself:

Set Your Privacy Filters

Whether you’re new to online dating or you’re a pro, not every one wants the world to know their trying to find love on the Internet. Imagine your Aunt Mildred finding out that you date cougars — or worse yet, your supervisor who’s in charge of approving your pending promotion. Don’t worry, you don’t have to become the next victim of complete embarrassment.

When it comes to separating your private online dating life from your ‘regular’ social media life, it’s important that you keep your privacy settings in check. This will allow you to specify exactly what information is visible to your online friends.

Another way to protect your privacy is by signing up with a pseudonym and use a profile photo with a headless torso. However, this may only work to a certain extent. The problem with this popular online dating profile technique is that if you’re trying to attract a certain type of online dates, it could hinder you from finding the perfect match.

If you’re concerned about your online safety, stay anonymous – at least until you feel safe to explore another option. The good thing about online dating is that you can now protect your identity by hiding it until you decide to reveal it.

Using Online Dating Apps Responsibly

More and more people are using online dating apps to connect with their potential dates. If you don’t want to reveal your private information, you must conceal your personal life as much as humanly possible. Many apps in the market today offer many private feature settings such as restricting profile info such as your location, age, gender and name. For instance, if you feel a little nervous about revealing your location to an online friend, it is highly suggested that you stop announcing your location.

Block Users

Don’t be afraid to block users who are abusive. For example, you can block spammers, users who send offensive or harassing emails. You can even report abusive users if their behavior goes overboard.

Lastly, when you decide to meet your online date in person, make sure you tell a family member or friend you trust. Avoid meeting at a hotel room or private home until the person has gained your trust.

Online Dating Do’s & Don’ts For 2012

Whether you want to hook up with men or women online, there
are important Do’s and Don’ts to consider. Here are a few online dating rules
for 2012.

 

Don’t reveal private
information in your IM messages and emails. If you were at a club, you wouldn’t
just give out your home address to the first person that approaches you. If
your love interest asks to send you a gift or something through the mail,
consider getting a P.O. box address.

 

Do proofread your
profile.  It doesn’t hurt to run your
profile text through spell-check. If your profile is riddled with spelling
errors and typo’s, it will turn people off.

 

Don’t post a profile photo
that hides your face.  You want your
potential dates to see ‘you’ not your sunglasses. Also, make sure you smile in
your photo.

 

Do create a separate email
for online dating.

 

Don’t give your full name.
For online safety, you may want to give your first name instead.

 

Do answer every email you
get from your potential online dates. It’s impolite to avoid responding to
emails.

 

Don’t bad mouth your Ex.
One thing that will turn off your potential love interest is if you rant and
rave about how horrible your Ex is.  Make
sure you talk about something that is interesting and meaningful.

 

Do make hygiene a top
priority when meeting in person. Make sure you put your best foot forward by
wearing clean clothes, fresh breath, etc. Believe it or not, some people skip
this important step in online dating!

 

Don’t leave your personal
belongings unattended when you meet in person. When you leave your wallet or
purse unattended, you run  the risk of
getting your personal information stolen.

 

Do listen. Make sure you
actually listen to what your online date is saying. There is nothing more
annoying than talking to a person who doesn’t listen.

 

Don’t give out your
banking information, credit card or social security number to anyone.

 

Do talk to your online
date by phone or video chat before meeting him/her in person. This will help
you to judge chemistry.

 

Don’t leave your drink
unattended. Make sure you keep your drink with you to avoid it being tampered
with.