Here are a few safety tips you should know:
Don’t register your account to your main email address. Consider using a new email or lesser used email address when setting up an account, one that if hacked, does not have all your bank details, shopping accounts, contacts etc.
Don’t give out confidential information in your profile. Avoid being too specific about where you live, work or socialize in your profile. When chatting with someone online it’s better to talk about where you’ve been rather than where you’re going.
Never give money. If someone you are communicating with on a dating website asks you for money or your bank details they are likely to be a scammer.
If you have experienced monetary fraud on a dating site, report it to Action Fraud via their reporting tool.
Don’t give out your number. Wait until you know someone a little better before you share your contact details. If someone asks for your number straight away, politely decline.
Report unwarranted behavior. If you encounter a suspicious member on a dating site or someone has been rude to you, do not hesitate to report them.
Meet in a public place. When you meet another member for the first time, do it in a public place like a bar or a café. Do not go to their home and do not give them your address.
Arrange your own transport. Don’t let your date pick you up from your home on your first meeting. Check the time of the last train/bus/tube.
Tell a friend. Inform someone you know and trust that you are going on a date and give them details of where you are going.
Stay connected. Make sure your phone is charged before your date.
Take action. If you have encountered an incident of a serious nature call the police straight away and report your experience.
Be cautious on first dates about leaving anything unattended such as your drink, your phone or your bag.
Consumption of alcohol and/or other drugs can impair your judgment and potentially put you in danger. It’s important to keep a clear mind and avoid anything that might place you at risk.
It is likely you will dress to impress your date, after all it is the first time you are meeting them. However, it is especially important for ladies to dress appropriately.
Meet at a time and on a day that's convenient for you. Be suspicious if your date insists on meeting at odd hours unless they have a legitimate reason.
Always trust your instincts. If your gut is telling you to leave, then leave.
Stay at a hotel when first visiting someone you've met through an online dating service, do not stay at the other person's home. If you can't afford a hotel, don't go.
You and your partner should use proper protection. Condoms and other mechanisms can significantly reduce the risk of contracting or passing on a sexually transmitted infection (STI), such as HIV. However, you can still get certain STI’s, like herpes or HPV from contact with your partner’s skin even when using a condom. To be effective, however, protective measures must be used consistently.
The risk of contracting some STI’s can be reduced through vaccination. Talk to your doctor or a professional at a sexual health clinic to learn more.