Millions of people make use of online dating to find romantic partners and lifelong close friends, but while it may offer many benefits, you can also find risks — from con artists to unwelcome or even unsafe behavior. Luckily, there are plenty of approaches to remain safe while swiping left and right:

Do not show personal facts, such as where you live or your commute route. Similarly, avoid sharing photos that could recognize your regular hangouts. If you must, be sure you use blurring filters to obscure the eye.

Do not ever give somebody you’ve attained online the real contact number (even following getting to know all of them a bit). This allows those to track where you are, call up you continuously, or access other programs that have your info, says O’Toole. Somewhat, meet in a public place where you can text or call for a ride later — and always always have a great exit plan.

Avoid requesting too many personal questions in early interactions, especially if your date’s answers seem to be suspicious or perhaps unusual. Instead, focus on chitchatting about prevalent interests and activities.

It’s also smart to talk by using video chat ahead of meeting in person, says O’Toole. This assists you make sure your match is normally who they say they are. If perhaps they avoid a video phone, it may be a red flag. In the same way, don’t receive meet within a remote location, seeing that this can be a set up for thievery or kidnapping. Instead, meet up with in a familiar and well-lit place.

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