Keep your personal information personal! Don’t be too quick to reveal your address or telephone number. When you are ready to talk on the phone use your mobile number as this can be easily changed. In the event of somebody harassing you, your phone provider can log calls, change your number and bar calls giving you added protection and peace of mind. Never reveal your debit or credit card details or offer to send money to people you meet online. These are almost certainly scams.
Ask for recent photos: if you think the photos you’ve been sent are too good to be true, they more than likely are. Don’t be afraid to ask for recent photos – people change and who knows what you can expect since that snap on a beach in 2005 was taken! If you meet and your date doesn’t look like his photos don’t be afraid to politely end the date.
Always meet in public: when you’re ready to meet take it to the streets and meet somewhere neutral or somewhere you both know. Make sure you provide your own transport and don’t rely on your date to take you home. Your first date will tell you a lot about whom the person is and if you’d like to meet them again.
Tell your friends: let your friends know where you’re going and when they can expect to hear from you. You might want to tell them who the person is you’re meeting and give them your date’s mobile phone number and profile name. The more information other people have the safer you are.
Keep your valuables out of sight: if you and your date make it back to your place (or his), make sure your valuables are out of sight. Even the nicest looking guy with the sweetest of smiles can have light fingers and you may find your mobile phone or credit card find their way into your date’s pockets.
Finally, trust your gut instinct:you’ll know if something isn’t quite right. Don’t be afraid to walk away from a date, or, if you’ve made it back to their place to leave if you feel vulnerable or worried for your safety. If you have welcomed somebody into your own home you can ask them to leave at anytime if you feel uncomfortable.