Monthly safety tip from your Black Hawk College Safety Committee
February is most known as the month of LOVE. But did you know that February is also Online Dating Safety Awareness Month?
If you have already found your special someone, then celebrating Valentine’s Day is a real treat (and hopefully it includes chocolates!). However, if you are still looking for your Valentine and have considered looking at online dating, please follow these six online (or offline) Dating Safety Tips.
- Don’t post contact information – There is a difference from being cyber savvy and cyber secure. Even if your online dating site does not give out this information, ensure that you have protected your information across all social media.
- Watch for red flags – Do a reverse search on the picture of your date. You may be surprised at what you find out by taking this one simple step. Are they asking for money? Live or travel abroad? Asks for favors? These are all red flags for you to investigate the person before moving forward. Spelling and grammar errors, wanting to chat on an outside e-mail, or asking for your address so they can send you flowers are also possible red flags.
- Play detective – Ask the person a question and then ask them the same question in a different way at a different time (such as asking what high school they attended). Look for discrepancies in their background information. Complete a Google search on their name and see if it matches the information they have given you.
- Set your expectations – Think about what you expect from online dating and keep that in mind as you engage with possible matches.
- Trust your intuition – If something feels off, it probably is.
- Meet up safely – If you find someone you want to meet, then plan ahead. Choose a public place and plan your own transportation. Tell family or friends where you going, who you are meeting, and what time you expect to be home. Consider bringing someone along while you start your date and have them wait for your signal before leaving.
Disclaimer: These tips have been provided as general information for increasing safety awareness and for informational purposes only. Black Hawk College does not accept any liability for the information or advice (or the use of such information or advice) that is provided. We make every effort to insure the integrity and validity of the data provided. Always, check with your care provider before making any changes.