The Dangers of Internet Dating: Tips for Safe Date Selections

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sexual assault under a gavelPeople turn to online dating for a variety of reasons, and today it is a widely popular option for finding a significant other.

In fact, one Kaspersky study found that one out of three people is dating online.

Regardless of the reasons they are on there, the internet is perceived as a blank slate. While those looking for genuine relationships hope to find someone honest, there are numerous instances where people are dishonest about their life, name, and sometimes their looks.

Furthermore, online dating forces people to share personal information, and in some cases, this can be dangerous. Both men and women need to exercise caution while dating online. Not only should participants be cautious about whom they meet in person, but how it is done.

Meeting in person may go well, but it can also go down a dark road that leads to assaults or false accusations of assaults.

If you are dating online or have created a profile with intentions to get started, consider these safety tips before you meet for that first date.

Tips for Safer Online Dating while Living in Albuquerque

Online dating platforms are a way to meet singles in your area, including those you would never pass by in an everyday situation. However, there are risks and dangers for all ages and sexes on these sites. Therefore, before you pick a date, consider the following:

Realize Predators Exist on These Platforms

Online dating websites do not conduct background checks; thus, a sexual predator can easily infiltrate these sites and start setting up dates. Often, they are charming and kind, and you would not know that they have a violent past or their true intentions.

One way to avoid these situations is to take time getting to know the person rather than taking them up on their offer to meet right away.

The risk is not just for women either. Men are victims of sexual assault, too. According to the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey, gay men, bisexual men, and even heterosexual men are 26 to 37 percent at risk for assault themselves.

Google the Person – If You Have Their Real Name

Unfortunately, dating sites make it easy to create fictitious personalities. In some cases, people will go to great lengths to establish an online relationship and make a completely false person for that relationship, known as catfishing.

Regardless, once you have a name, you can Google search that person. With the vast reach of the internet today, you may find information on social media, crime report sites, and forums. There is no harm in running a Google search, but realize, this is not failproof.

Do Not Give Your Full Name

As stated above, you can search for almost anything online. Google yourself right now, and you might find your name, address, and phone number on the internet – meaning someone could come to your home.

Wait until you have had your first meeting in person before you release your full name. Likewise, never list your full name on your dating profile, and be careful about any personal details you share that may help in someone’s Google search for your personal data.

Do Not Discuss Whom You Work For

You can discuss what you do for work to get to know someone, but do not tell them your place of employment. While you might be proud of it, especially if you have a highly respected career, these are things you should not publicly broadcast on the internet.

Someone could show up unannounced at your office, stalk you, or even start contacting you at work via phone.

Always Meet in a Public Place

Never agree to meet someone in a private place or at your home. While this seems obvious, many people will decide to meet in a private location, including their residence. Others will allow their date to pick them up at home, but this only gives them access to your address.

Instead, drive yourself to your public meeting place, drive yourself home, and do not exchange addresses. Likewise, pick a meeting place far away from your neighborhood. Meeting at a coffee shop a block from your home is still too risky.

Leave Alcohol out of the First Dates

For your first date, avoid alcohol.

Alcohol does not assault people, but people may not remember what happened to them or assault others while intoxicated,. Alcohol makes it hard to stay aware of your surroundings, and you cannot make good decisions once you are intoxicated.

Do Not Connect Your Social Media Account to Your Profile

Never connect personal accounts to your dating account. While there is that option, you have allowed someone to enter your private social media space, see your friends, find out where you hang out and possibly live, and even find out information like your date of birth.

Have a Lookout

Before you head out on your date, tell a friend or family member where you are going, the time you are meeting there, the time you will be home, the address and phone number of the establishment, the name and dating profile of the person you are meeting, and any other vital details you can think of.

Have this party check in with you to make sure you are doing okay on the date, and also check in with them when you get home. In case something does happen, you have someone with all of the pertinent information to supply to the police, right away.

Were You Accused of Sexual Assault? Speak with a Defense Attorney

One risk of internet dating is being accused of acts you did not commit. You may meet with someone who decides to take the date further than they originally intended, and to avoid the embarrassment, they accuse you of sexual assault. Likewise, if you both had too much to drink, no one will accurately remember what happened. And when the situation is confusing, false accusations can be more likely.

If you were falsely accused of sexual assault, or you are being questioned by law enforcement regarding an assault from a date you picked up online, it is imperative you contact a defense attorney immediately.

Contact New Mexico Criminal Law Offices now at 505-200-2982 or message us online to schedule a free case evaluation.