As online dating becomes increasingly popular, there are certain things you should be doing to protect yourself not only physically but also in the online realm. Many casual users of the Internet may not be fully aware of the risks involved with providing too much personal information to a third party, especially when this information is used for such activities as identify theft. In this article we'll discuss a few things you should be concerned about and how to avoid becoming a victim of illegal activity.

Physical safety concerns are a key consideration when using online dating, especially if you intend on meeting someone in person for the first time. While it isn't our goal to scare you into avoiding meeting people, we want you to exercise common sense when it comes to the real world. Here are a few tips you should be following:

  • Only meet in a public place - A local coffee shop makes a great place to meet someone for the first time. Pick an establishment where you're familiar with the area. Don't meet someone you don't know at their house or a secluded area.
  • Tell someone where you're going - If you're going out on a date, you should consider telling a friend or family member where you'll be and how long you expect to be there.
  • Keep your phone on you - You never know when you're going to need it. We advise against playing on your phone the entire time as your date will likely find this annoying...

Seems simple, right? We just want to ensure your online dating experience is safe and fun, and meeting new people is a great way to enjoy life.

Our next safety topic will cover what you should and should not do with your personal information on a dating site. A major concern in today's era of Internet connectivity is the potential for criminals to obtain your personal information in an effort to commit identity theft or attempt to scam you. Using a dating site offers a certain level of protection, but you'll want to ensure you keep the following in mind:

  • Don't direct e-mail people - If someone sends you a message on a dating site asking you to reply to them via direct e-mail, this may be an attempt to obtain personal information from you. By simply sending an e-mail to someone, you potentially expose your full name and certain public social media services attached to your e-mail address.
  • Don't give out your e-mail/phone - This relates to the concerns mentioned in the tip above. Your e-mail address and phone number should be kept private until which point you've met someone in person and wish to continue communication outside of the dating site.
  • Don't publish identifying details - Public dating profiles can often include anything, but what they should not include is key information used to identify you. This can include your name, address, workplace, social media accounts and similar details. Most sites (such as CupidClick Dating) will keep this type of information private.

Online dating sites actively work to prevent unlawful attempts to collect users' personal information; however, these efforts can only do so much if online dating site users aren't keeping their own information private. You are responsible for ensuring you don't provide personal information to someone you don't know.

-CupidClick Dating, 03/2016