Dating sites are one of the most popular ways to meet a new partner, but for people who are new to the world of online dating – especially if you're coming to it later in life – safety is a major concern. While the overwhelming majority of people on dating sites are nice, normal singletons, it's always a good idea to prepare yourself for people with less wholesome intentions.
Bottom line: online dating is just as safe as dating in the "real world." It's easy to assume that due to the impersonal nature of online dating sites, you're more likely to have a bad experience, but that's not really the case. Research indicates that around a third (32%) of relationships that started between 2015 and 2019 began online. In other words, the type of person you're likely to meet online is no different to the type of person you're likely to meet through friends, at a bar, or in any other everyday situation.
Having said that, online dating is just like any other environment that places you in contact with strangers – it's important to keep your wits about you and protect yourself at all times. All dating websites have romance scammers operating on them. One of the most common is "catfishing," when a scammer uses a fake photo and persona to forge a relationship, and then requests money or personal details through emotional manipulation. Automated programs known as bots can also pose as real people, mimicking natural conversation in order to extract your information.
Following a couple of common-sense online chatting safety tips can help keep you out of harm's way when you're looking for love online.
There's no hard and fast rule when it comes to the length of time between chatting online and meeting up in person. Ultimately, it comes down to what you feel comfortable with. So, how long do you chat online before meeting? If you're interested in meeting up and you've had a video chat (so you know they are who they say they are), feel free to suggest a date. If the person you're chatting to drags their feet or keeps finding excuses not to meet, it might suggest that something's not quite right.
For a little more information about what to do – and in some cases, what not to do – when it comes to keeping safe when online dating, take a look at these online dating dos and don'ts for over 50s:
As you can see, keeping safe when online dating for over 50s isn't rocket science – just watch what information you give out and remember that if something feels too good to be true, it probably is. If you want to take the next step explore over 50's dating with Free Dating today.