How To Stay Safe While Online Dating!

online dating Nov 21, 2023

Safety When Dating Online

Wow, well, this is a biggie.

When considering which aspects of this large area to include, I decided to refer to safety concerns specifically relevant to online dating, rather than dating generally. I am sure you will be aware of the more general worries.

So, first, I guess I need to repeat this.


As we dealt with this recently, it’s worth making the point once again that many people on dating websites or apps are vulnerable or perhaps not that technically minded, and that the key rule of thumb is never give anybody any money.

Something we have already touched on is children and their protection.

Let me tell you a story from my own experience.

I mentioned a long time ago in this book about how my lack of contact with girls in my early years led to a certain shyness and difficulty when trying to communicate with them.

One of the factors here is that I was force-recruited into my father’s church choir. It was a boys-only affair.
An annual treat for the boys was the choir camp. We all trooped off (about 15 boys and 2 adults) about 45 minutes away from the church and set up camp in the grounds of some stately home or other. There were some old huts we could cook in and a proper bathroom nearby.

It was usually a pretty enjoyable week.

However, my father, who was one of the adults, also brought in someone he worked with in his normal job as a technician in a university. I remember the guy’s real name very well, but let’s call him Alex.

Alex had a fast Jaguar sports car and all the boys loved to go in it while he went 100 miles per hour!
This was a long time ago when health and safety rules weren’t so strict.

He often got into play fights with the boys, and some of them talked about how he had shown them condoms.

These camps went on for about 12 years, and Alex was present at all of them. There was something a bit strange about him.

A few years later, after my father had left that church and the camps had stopped, I read in the newspaper that Alex had sexually assaulted some young boys when he had taken them out on a boat. He was jailed for a number of years. I don’t know if he ever tried anything with any of the boys on camp, but it certainly wasn’t a healthy situation.

My point is that pedophiles will often go to extreme lengths to get close to their victims. And how easy would it be for them to get close to young children than to find an app where people are looking for a partner and they are advertising on their profile that they have access to young children?

The implications of this are monstrous.

I simply cannot believe that dating sites allow profiles to show photographs of young children. We all know they have software that can recognize youngsters and can disallow certain pictures, but they simply don’t do it.

I would say that governments worldwide should pass a law preventing anyone under 18 appearing on a dating website.

If your profile pictures show children, please delete them immediately. Show your love by not exposing them to unknown elements.

And that is the very least you can do. If you have younger children, just be mindful that you need to know as much as you can about a new partner before introducing them.

I have mentioned this to a few ladies on dating sites, and generally, they have been extremely receptive to my advice. Some just ignore it or tell me to mind my own business, but most say that they simply hadn’t considered that people are trawling the sites with the intention to harm children.

Which brings me to the next point. Check out who you’re talking to.

Most people these days have social media of some description (if not, why not?) and some will have a LinkedIn profile.

If they claim to have a professional job, check out their LinkedIn. If they don’t appear, ask them why not?

There’s Facebook, Twitter (Meta and X or whatever they’re called by the time you read this) and a myriad of other sources you can check.

If in doubt, kick them out.

Ladies, if a man isn’t at least a little forthcoming about who they are, there’s a reason for that.

However, don’t go too far with the Columbo stuff. Patrick, a man I interviewed, once had a date with a retired detective with time on her hands. By the time they met, she knew everything about him. He checked out, but sadly, he then checked out because he didn’t really like the idea of someone going into that amount of detail such as checking with her police friends for transgressions of the law and calling up his employer.

If you feel you need to do that, don’t let them know you did it. Just play dumb until you know them better.

Another thing to watch out for is that you should drip information slowly. Try and get a feel before you tell them you’re in the vegetable section at Walmart around the corner. Dating sites can lead to stalking, so you have to be super alert.

To be honest, it’s a minefield!

If you’re going to meet anyone, let friends know. Avoid going to someone’s house on a first meet if possible. I suppose if other people are in the house, this would decrease the risk, but the risk should be obvious for females on their own, but also for men, you may be accused of something you didn’t do. One guy reported that he had been invited to a lady’s house late one night, and when he got there, the most recent ex-boyfriend was also there and attacked him!

I’m sure there are plenty of safe people out there, but it’s probably better to just avoid the risk. You might end up in a car with an axe and piece of rope!
And talking of cars, if you are being super safe, don’t agree to being picked up in a car. Who knows where you are going to be taken?

Watch out for the hook-up culture. Some people are just looking for sex, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but if that’s not what you’re looking for, it should be pretty obvious to spot the signs of someone who is. Some will just come right out and say it, others will be suggestive and some will send dick pics.


Catfishing takes lying about your age and other details to a whole new level.

It refers to when a person takes images and other personal information, usually from someone else’s dating app account or Facebook, and uses the information to create a new identity for themselves, either using the other person’s name or a completely different name. It has been known for a catfisher to steal someone’s entire identity—including their pictures, date of birth, and geographical location and pretending it is theirs. Of course, this new identity can then be checked out, and more often than not, it will be accurate, but for another person!

This is a serious matter as the catfisher may then hide behind this new identity to scam, hurt or abuse the person being catfished, and it’s very easy to do on dating sites.

But you can catch the catfish very simply.

Ask them to send a photo of themselves right now holding a piece of paper with your name written on it.
Unless they are a particularly tenacious catfish and have created thousands of images holding pieces of paper with different names on them, this will reveal who they are.

If someone refuses to do this when asked politely and given a reason for it, then there is a reason they will not do it.

Don’t accept excuses like ‘my phone camera is broken at the moment’. They’re dodgy. Period.

The use of drugs and alcohol is sometimes difficult to spot.

I interviewed a lady who had been dating a guy she met online for 6 months and only then discovered he was off his head most of the time. If you don’t think you would be able to deal with someone who suffers from problems with alcohol, this tends to be more obvious, but very often, people who are suffering from drug or alcohol addiction are adept at hiding the fact.

But now we are really wandering into territory where just general dating advice is called for, and we all get that from life!

Final word – if in doubt, kick them out! The next Rightswiper is seconds away...

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