Dangers Of Online Dating …safety tips to escape victimization
Relationship in the 21st century has taken a whole new outlook (and that’s no news at all). The digitization of almost everything is fast spreading like wild fire in the harmattan.
Upgrades here and there, barriers broken, communication complexities reduced; the world has become one small village already, so much so that a single click set you on stage with more than a million people across the globe — and romance isn’t outside this digital corridor.
One no longer need try too hard and search physically to find ‘the one’ anymore as the internet has brought everyone down on the buttons of our smart phones and internet access devices so that even from the comfort of your bedroom, you could just meet up with that person who is almost hundred percent compatible with you.
But despite the convenience of this kind of hook-ups, the question you and me shouldn’t fail to ask ourselves is; how safe or rather, how unsafe is it?
It’s true that successful business deals have been sealed via the internet, long lasting relationship and in-fact, colourful marriages has come about from the internet, but rape cases, theft, serial killings, scams… has also sprung from the web, and we shouldn’t turn a blind eye to that.
About 10% of sex offenders use dating sites, 1 in 10 users are scammers. Every year, 16, 000 abductions, 100 murders and thousands of rape cases are committed by online predators. And these cases seem to be refreshing themselves everyday like the recent case of the 14 year old in Yenagoa, Bayelsa who threw herself all over her Facebook lover and ended up bedding him and his friend.
As many litany of risks that comes with online dating, there are actually measures one can put in place to prevent a ‘had I known’ scenario.
Don’t Be Quick To Reveal Everything About Yourself
By everything, I mean vital information like your home/work address, phone number, your income, family history, or even your last name. For what’s worth you have next to no idea who you’re chatting with — everybody can be anyone behind the screen who’s trying hard to get your attention, with intentions unknown to you.
Don’t Link Your Social Media Accounts With Your Dating Site
It will be harder to scam you and easier to detect an online predator when using an online dating site and staying put there without disclosing or linking your social media accounts, than doing just the opposite – as you’ll put yourself at risk of something bad happening to you.
Be A Researcher
Be patient and carry out a thorough background check on the other person. Make sure not to rush into agreeing to meet with him/her physically without being sure of who it is you’re going to meet.
Inform Friends And Family Members On Your Physical Outing(s)
Atleast your first physical dates should not go on without you making sure that you aren’t the only one aware of it. Tell your friends (for security reasons). If possible, show them his/her picture and share your location of meeting in order to guarantee your safety to some extent.
Choose A Public Place For Your Meetings
Under no circumstance should you go on a date with your online lover at a location that is unknown or new to you. Always pick a public place for your first dates at atleast.
Block And Report Suspicious Activity
Once you suspect a person to be a predator online, waste no time to block and report such person (no matter your deep connection); you will not only save yourself, but others too.
All these rigorous precautions hmm, “should I then quit my online dating?” you could, but if not, be sure to follow the above safety tips, and be very, very careful.