We asked Stewart and Tony Neate, CEO of Get Safe Online, for their tips for enjoying dating sites while making sure you stay safe. If you’ve never used a dating site or app before, you might not know which one to pick.According to Stewart, you should always “stick to mainstream websites and be cognizant that anyone can join most any site and pose as any person.” One way to tell if a website is trustworthy is the extent to which it lets you protect your information.Among independent sites, Stewart cites Hinge, Coffee Meets Bagel, How About We, e Harmony, Zoosk and Plenty Of Fish as being “large enough to have good policies in place.” Although these larger websites don’t necessarily have more trustworthy users, you can at least rely on the sites to keep your information safe.
Playing detective might feel excessive, but you’re always better safe than sorry.
Nina*, a senior at Duke University, took all the precautions she could before meeting up with people from dating sites.
“All of these things can be used to track and identify you and even your whereabouts.” Phone numbers are also a big no-no until you feel comfortable enough to meet up with someone. “Pick a username that does not include any personal information,” Neate says.
For example, don’t use anything along the lines of “jane_tucson” or “mary_90210.” Of course, it can be difficult to tell whether someone is potentially dangerous or not.
“Googling background searches will give you a wealth of options.