Tips / Advice about using Social Networking & Dating Sites
There is much talked about using Dating and Social Networking sites and the potential risks to your personal information, personal finances and even personal safety. Whilst there are dangers, there are steps you can take so that you can both reap the benefits of meeting new friends and at the same time minimise the risks.
Only use a reputable websites - The first and most important tip is to use only websites which have a good reputable and clearly set out policies about services that are offered and the costs that will be charged. Also try to speak to or hear from customers who have used the services from the sites
Personal information - We all want to appear open and friendly when we're meeting new people, but we should also be careful to make sure we want someone to have our information before giving it out. The majority of Dating and Soical Networking sites have messaging systems which mean you don't need to give out any contact information at all until you're happy to, so don't be afraid to tell someone that you'd rather stick to the on-site system for longer if you have concerns. If they're genuine then they won't have a problem.
Scammers - You should treat people in much the same way online as you do in the real world. If someone you barely know asks to borrow money or asks for any sort of financial details whatsoever, then alarm bells should start to ring. You wouldn't expect someone you met in the pub last week to ask for money, and you shouldn't expect it online either. If you have any such contact from someone you should report this to the site administration..
Personal safety - There's plenty of advice around for when meeting up with someone you've met online, but the main point is that you should always stay in control. Meet in a public place, tell someone when and where you're going, and arrange to call them at a given time to confirm all's going well. If your date is worth their salt, they will completely understand and, rather than having a problem with your caution, will probably just be impressed at how well organised you are.
Don't panic! - The majority of people you meet online will be genuine people just like you who are simply looking for a date and a bit of fun. Unfortunately, it's best to plan for the worst and then allow people to prove themselves otherwise, but don't let the occasional dodgy character spoil your enjoyment. Just be aware that there is the odd one out there and exercise a little caution, as you would in any other place where you're meeting new people.
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