As in all things, the saying better safe than sorry definitely applies to online dating. Almost every day you can find a news article on online dating meetings gone bad. From robbery to even murder, the dangers are real. You must practice safety above all else. Here are just a few tips to try and make online dating a little safer.
1 - Ask your potential date match to take a background check. There are many reputable background checking services available and anyone who is on the up and up will not hesitate to do one. If they do refuse, move on, immediately. If they do, and they check out still be wary. It is not beyond the realm of belief that they could submit false information or information they stole from someone else.
2 - Never give out personal information when corresponding via online chat or email and don't give out too much in the first few face-to-face dates. Your home address, work place address, relatives names, anything that they could use to get to you in an unprotected situation, such as your home at night, you should not share until you know them better.
3 - Never meet an online date match at night, at your home or theirs, or alone. Go in the daytime. Go to a crowded place. Let others know where you will be. Minimize your risk.
4 - Never have sex too quickly with an online match. You should always find out more about them and you should before you have sex with anyone, ask them to be tested for STDs. To not do so puts your health and even your life at risk.
5 - Don't get drunk. A glass of wine with dinner is fine, but don't over do it. Drinking too much inhibits your ability to make good decisions and in this situation you need to have all your wits about you. Being drunk lets down your guard and makes it much easier for someone with bad intentions to take advantage of you.
These are only a few tips for online dating safety but I think some of the most important. Always remember that your safety comes first. If the person you are getting involved with makes you feel unsafe in any way, walk away and go for safety. No date is worth dying over.