To begin with, the Internet is one of the most anonymous entities you’ll find anywhere. People online can be anyone and anything they wish, whether it’s actually the truth or not. They can fool others into believing that they’re respectable and even wealthy when they’re actually borderline criminals with no job. That’s not the worst of it, though. The Internet has made it much easier for predators to find their victims, and that’s why it’s vital to keep a safety plan in place.
NEVER agree to go out with someone that you’ve only JUST started talking to online. This is true whether it’s through a dating site or just a chat room. There are steps you need to take to ensure your safety. The first one of these is to spend some time getting to know this person you’re drawn to. Try to get him to talk to you on a webcam because that will show you a lot about him. It’s also a good idea to try to get as much information as you can about him without having to give him too much of yours. You can take that information and investigate him a bit.
Speaking of giving out information, don’t tell him truly personal things such as your phone number and address. You want to keep him from finding you until you’re sure that you trust him and you’re ready to meet. There’s no way to keep yourself fully safe if you’re giving him your full name, address and phone number right off the bat.
Once you’ve decided that he’s probably ok, set up your first meeting with him in a very public place and during the daylight hours. It’s also a great idea to take a friend along with you so that you’ve got an escape route if you need it. In addition, the guy you’re meeting sees that someone else knows who you’re with if you happen to disappear or turn up harmed. Also, go in your own car so that you’re not stuck depending on him for a ride home. If everything is going well, then you can send your friend on her way.
These are all just common sense rules that everyone needs to follow when engaging in online dating. It doesn’t matter how much you may be tempted to forego the rules, please don’t do it. Consider that dangerous people don’t always appear that way. There are many wolves wearing sheep’s clothing and you don’t want to be trapped by one of them.